Independent columnist Observer welcomes John Wall as the new Rector of Uckfield, and also says it is poor PR to be talking about closing the High Street for late-night shopping when the message that should be going out is about what is happening now.
John Wall looks to be just the right man for Uckfield as the new Rector of Uckfield.
The Church of England has moved quickly – in its terms – to make an appointment which the congregation at Holy Cross and the other churches in the group must welcome.
They went through a difficult time in 2015, none more so than the grievous loss of the previous Rector Canon Martin Onions.
Community at heart
So I’m sure there will be a big welcome from the pews for Fr Wall when he returns from a sabbatical to take up his post here.
The wider town will also find we have a man who has the community at heart.
Of course, Uckfield is not short of community spirit: great things go on all day, every day but no business – or town – can afford to rest on its laurels.
Re-opened a pub
John Wall certainly was a catalyst to make things happen in what we all know is a deprived part of east Brighton.
And what’s more he rolled up his sleeves and got down to some hard manual work.
He’s just the sort of person Uckfield folk will take to.
And, after all, what’s not to like about a clergyman who managed to get a pub re-opened. We approved of that in the Dog and Duck as we sipped an end-of-week drink.
Talk about mixed messages
Uckfield shopkeepers campaigned long, hard and vociferously to keep parking in the High Street.
Without it, trade would die and shops will close was the nub of their argument.
Now they announce the High Street is set to close for late-night shopping in December.
What a strange time to make the announcement.
Overlooking the fact that Easter is not until the end of the month, putting out a story saying the High Street will be closed rather flies in the face of the other message they are trying to get across: the High Street is open for business while the roadworks are going on.
Clouds the real issue
What’s the point in telling people about an event in December when that news clouds the real issue of the moment?
There is one drum to bang: Uckfield shops are open for business; traffic is on the move and you can find car parking spaces.
Plan for late-night shopping by all means but just give the public one easy message.
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