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Paddy Power sponsors confessional box

Our Lady and St Etheldreda's

Our Lady and St Etheldreda's

Irish betting tycoon Paddy Power has bought a confessional box for a Catholic church in Suffolk.

Parish Priest Father Michael Griffin from Our Lady and St Etheldreda's, in Newmarket,  explained that the church had been trying to raise a total of £65,000 for renovations including a new font and altar.

He explained: "Some bright spark started to ring around anyone who sounded vaguely Irish or Catholic."  The person knew Paddy Power was the name of a betting shop, but was surprised when Mr Power answered the phone himself. Fr Michael said Mr Power was "captivated"  by the idea of sponsoring a confessional, to the tune of £10,000.

Paddy Power said: "From our point of view it's a great fit to sponsor a confession box in a church nestled in the galloping heart of British horse racing. We hope that, over time, confessing your sins in the Paddy Power confession box will become a tradition for Newmarket race-goers."

Jockey Frankie Dettori unveiled the new confessional box, which features a small plaque with the words: "The Paddy Power Sin Bin".

Father Michael said everyone "liked a flutter" and gambling in moderation was not a sin.