Newmarket is so steeped in horseracing, that even the town’s Roman Catholic church has teamed up with a bookies.

Our Lady and St Etheldreda’s Church announced last Tuesday (27 April) that its confessional will be sponsored by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.

Paddy Power is paying £10,000 to sponsor the “sin bin” after being approached by the church.

“It’s a great fit to sponsor a confessional in a church nestled in the galloping heart of British horseracing,” said company founder Paddy Power.

“We hope that over time confessing your sins in the Paddy Power confessional will become a tradition for Newmarket racegoers.”

Top Flat jockey Frankie Dettori, who was married in the church, was the first to make his confession.

Parish priest Father Michael Griffin said the congregation hoped to refit the church, but was struggling financially, so the sponsorship is very welcome.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (6 May, ’10)