Thursday 23 November 2017

Act of contrition: Bookie sponsors 'sin bin'

Richard Savill

A Catholic church confession box has been sponsored by a bookie in a €12,000 deal.

Paddy Power paid the money to have its name on the new box in Our Lady & St Etheldreda Church in the English racing town of Newmarket in Suffolk after it was approached by the priest. Jockey Frankie Dettori, who was married in the church, performed the official opening ceremony yesterday.

The Irish bookmaker said it was "delighted" with the arrangement.

"We are involved as part of the racing industry and Newmarket is the headquarters of racing in England," said a spokesman.

"It's a great fit and perhaps over time confessing your sins in a Paddy Power confession box will become a tradition for racegoers."

Local priest Fr Michael Griffin said: "It was suggested by a parishioner that we should ask Paddy Power for help because of its horse-racing connections. We were very pleased when they generously agreed.

"We were happy to put a plaque up on the side of the box, which we refer to as a reconciliation room, and I have mentioned Paddy Power in a sermon."

Diocesan spokesman Fr Mark Hackeson said: "There is nothing morally wrong with gambling unless it deprives people of what is necessary to provide for their needs and that of their dependents."

The confession box has green curtains branded in the corporate logo of the bookmaker and the words "Sin Bin" on the outside. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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