Crackdown on memorials at Longton graveyard

It is understood that at least one plot has 10 to 12 items placed on it, and complaints have been received by church staff.
It is understood that at least one plot has 10 to 12 items placed on it, and complaints have been received by church staff.

Families are being asked to remove memorial items from a graveyard -  or it will be done for them.

A notice has been issued in the newsletter of St Andrew’s CE Church in Longton - although one is still to go up in the churchyard - stating only one memorial plaque and one vase for flowers is allowed on cremation plots.

If other items are not removed by August 1, they will be removed by church staff and stored until families can collect them.

It is understood that at least one plot has 10 to 12 items placed on it, and complaints have been received by church staff.

Vicar Andrew Parkinson said: “The Garden of Remembrance has recently been tidied up by the men of the parish and it looks immaculate. We have been fairly tolerant in allowing items, but we have received complaints from families who feel their space is being encroached upon. We’re trying to be as sensitive as possible but it’s not a big space and we have to address the problem.

“We have tried to track down the families to talk to them, but haven’t been able to.”

Although the problem centres on the Garden of Remembrance where ashes are buried, Rev Parkinson said the notice applies to all areas of the graveyard.

He added: “Unlike in private burial grounds, all plots in a churchyard remain the property of the church, and there are rules and guidelines issued by the Chancellor of the Blackburn Diocese.”

A full copy of the Chancellor’s Rules can be seen, on request, in church.