Mosaic memorial to Father Pat

A FANTASTIC mosaic cross has been created as a memorial to a Peacehaven priest whose life ended tragically in a fire.

Father Patrick Emmanuel, 49, died in a blaze at the presbytery of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Edith Avenue, in April 2001. Fire investigators believed it started when papers caught alight by accident.

The Sri Lankan-born Catholic priest, who was known as Father Pat, had been at the church since 1998. To remember him parishioners made a collection for the monument.

Anne Farncombe, a member of the church's congregation, said the cross was a fitting tribute to the popular priest. 'It is absolutely magnificent, I love the colours and everything about it,' she said.

The cross was blessed at a service, on Sunday, attended by the church's new priest Father Tony Churchill and Father Christopher Bedford and Father Douglas Perkins, who worked in the parish following Father Pat's death.

It took Peacehaven Mosaic artist Aimee Saic three months to create the 6ft tall, 4ft wide, cross. She said: 'It represents Father Patrick's colourful personality, it has all the colours of the rainbow protruding from the centre, doves on each of the cross's arms and the national flower of Father Patrick's native country Sri-Lanka.'

Also featured is a view of Peacehaven's cliff and the sea which Aimee has incorporated into some of her other work - the Meridian Centre clock, mosaics at Telscombe Cliffs Primary School, Peacehaven Infant School and the South Coast Road roundabout.