WORSHIPPERS were left infuriated after parking wardens slapped tickets on cars outside a busy church during Easter Sunday services.

More than half a dozen cars were ticketed outside the Our Lady of Light and St Osyth catholic church, in Church Road, Clacton, on Sunday morning.

A number of the congregation parked in Church Road on a single yellow line, where parking is restricted between 9am and 6pm.

They’ll now have to stump up £70 – or £35 if paid within 14 days – after being given penalty charge notices.

One of the motorists, from St Osyth, said it was “saddening” to see parking wardens handing out fines for worshippers during what is a very special day for Christians.

“It is very upsetting to be slapped with a parking ticket on what should be a celebration,” they said.

“I walked past at least half a dozen cars in a row with parking tickets on them – and I’m sure there were more.

“Easter Sunday is obviously very busy in church, it was packed – and there’s not a lot of parking available near the church.

“A number of the congregation are elderly and they can’t walk too far.

“I mistakenly thought the restrictions weren’t in place on a Sunday, but after getting the ticket I realised the spot was restricted. But it feels very callous on Easter Sunday.”

Another motorist, from Clacton, said: “The parking warden is just following the rules, but they must have realised why so many cars were in Church Road on Easter Sunday.

“I’m sure they didn’t target the congregation on Easter Sunday – that would be terrible.”

 On-street parking in Tendring is carried out by the North Essex Parking Partnership, which is run by Colchester Council.

A spokesman for the North Essex Parking Partnership said: “To help ensure safe traffic flow and reduce congestion, all restrictions apply every day of the year, including Bank Holidays, unless the roadside signs state otherwise.

“Patrols take place every day other than Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, giving a consistent approach to patrolling across north Essex.

“Any requests to change the restriction in Church Road should be made to Tendring Council.”

Parish priest Father Patrick Daly, parish priest at Our Lady of Light and St Osyth, said: “I am sorry to hear that people wishing to attend church on the most important day in the Christian calendar have incurred parking fines.”