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Priest unable to administer last rites to Sir David Amess quits social media over abuse

by Kelly Valencia
Fr Jeff Good Friday thumb.jpg - Banner image

A Catholic priest who tried to offer Sir David Amess the last rites, but was denied access, says he has been forced to delete his social media accounts.

Fr Jeffrey Woolnough, parish priest at St Peter's Catholic Church in Southend, told Premier he has been left with no choice but to delete his Twitter account because the “rhetoric in there is harmful”.

“I closed it down, because it's just keeps the misery on the family, keeps regurgitating stuff, which they don't need to hear about,” Fr Goodnough said.

After he heard about Sir David Amess' attack, Fr Woolnough rushed to the scene to deliver the last rites but said police did not allowed him to enter the building, so he prayed “on the spot, on the rosary”.

He then posted on Twitter to explain he had tried his “very best” to deliver the sacrament “but apparently my best wasn't good enough”.

His tweet sparked criticism with some people saying he should have done more to administer the last rites to the Conservative MP and others accusing him of “capitulating at the scene” and saying that he “would be better off working at Tesco”.

“I made a mistake. I went on there to justify my actions. If I hadn't done this. I don't think it would have blown up,” he continued.

Labour MP Mike Kane has since proposed the “Amess amendment” which seeks to ensure priests can administer a person's last rites, even at crime scenes, and is being proposed in Parliament.

“This is something that will be a gift to all faiths, which I think is David's parting gift,” Fr Jeffrey Woolnough concluded.

A 25-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Sir David Amess and will face trial next year.

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