Churchyard drunk causes graves upset in Leyland

The damaged wall at St Andrews Church
The damaged wall at St Andrews Church
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A church has been left with a bill of several thousand pounds after a yob  seriously damaged a stone wall close to graves.

Stones from the wall are said to have fallen on loved ones’ tributes on some of the graves.

St Andrew’s Church, Worden Lane, Leyland, told the Guardian this week it had been the victim of problems in its graveyard on a number of occasions in the past.

The reverend Dr Duncan Bell, associate vicar of St Andrew’s, explained: “The damage originally happened over the Christmas period when a gentleman in the graveyard who was drunk had done some damage to the wall.

“We were going to repair it straight away and it turns out because it’s had graves on one side of it the whole wall has to be taken down and underpinned,

“There’s been further damage done, but it’s very minor.

“We just want to get on with getting the wall rebuilt for those who are mourning and make the name of Jesus known in Leyland.

“It was mostly taken down rather than fall down.”

The church cordoned off the damaged area and erected a notice saying; “Please accept our apologies that this protective barrier is preventing access to some of the plots in the Garden of Remembrance. the wall has been seriously damaged and we are organising repairs.”

Reverend Bell said he was not aware there was any damage to memorial stones.

He said he had not heard of any complaints from churchgoers, adding; “Just concern from people as to what had happened.

“It’s a space where many people are remembering loved ones.

“It’s just a concern in the community. It’s an ongoing problem with certain people in the graveyard who are hurting people.”

The damage will be repaired under the church’s insurance policy.

However, it has been claimed it should have been done sooner.

Sandra Booth’s parents are buried close to the damage.

She said: “I’m angry and frustrated because at Christmas when it was damaged it was only a couple of loose stones on top and nine inches of a crack then when I went in February for an anniversary I couldn’t get to the grave because it was taped off and the crack had progressed to three bricks from the bottom. They could have repaired it in the first place. It just needed some mortar.

“On my parents’ graves there were ornaments. I’m not bothered about the damage. It needn’t have happened.”