A response to our community, for and on behalf of the Minchinhampton Parochial Church Council, regarding Churchyard Regulations, 18 March 2021
The church is very aware that the present works in the churchyard are causing distress to many, and in particular the timing of this. We have heard people’s concerns, both about this and lack of clarity about what the rules state so we hope that this response and information helps.
Churchyards are a place of solace and dignity where people can remember their loved ones and feel close to God. Each memorial is a private commemoration, but a churchyard is a public space of remembrance and reflection. By taking care of the churchyard we show our respect and concern for all families’ graves and memorials.
To ensure we can maintain the churchyard well, and to follow legal churchyard regulations, we are asking families to take home any man-made items such as pots and ornaments from their memorial. However, we are very aware that due to current Covid regulations that visiting may not be possible. Given the roadmap out of lockdown we ask that items be collected by the end of April. After this time volunteers will move items to the top end of the churchyard for collection, so works can begin.
Families are very welcome to leave plants, bulbs and flowers on graves, but we ask that they are not left in their plastic pot/wrapper. The regulations that apply to churchyards do allow for a single flower container, which should be made of stone or metal, and should be set into the ground, or on the plinth of the headstone. Items that we are requesting you collect, as they prevent our volunteers and contractors maintaining the churchyard safely, are:
• Glass vases or pots
• Memorials and ornaments
• Children’s toys
• Kerbs round graves, kerb stones, flat stones/rocks, paving, clippings, footstones, palisades, metal railings
• Flowers or plants made from man-made materials
We understand that this has caused some upset to some families and for that we are very sorry. We want to take care of the churchyard and ensure it is a space that people can visit safely at any time now and in the future.
If anyone would like to discuss this further or have any questions, contact Revd Howard Gilbert on 01453 882289 who will be happy to have a conversation with you.
Thank you for your support,