Community pulls together to revamp neglected churchyard

Clean-up at St Matthew's church yard, Lightcliffe.'Volunteers with reverend Kathryn Buck (centre), councillors Graham Hall and David Kirton (right) and organiser Angela Monaghan (far right).
Clean-up at St Matthew's church yard, Lightcliffe.'Volunteers with reverend Kathryn Buck (centre), councillors Graham Hall and David Kirton (right) and organiser Angela Monaghan (far right).

The first steps have been taken towards tidying up a Lightcliffe church yard.

Parts of St Matthew’s Church on Wakefield Road have fallen into poor condition after years of neglect.

Now nearby residents and church members have formed the Friends of St Matthew’s Church in a bid to help restore the grounds.

On Sunday afternoon the group met to have a general clean up of litter before major work can begin.

Organiser Angela Monaghan said they were waiting for the results of wildlife and plant surveys.

“We want to find out exactly what is there before we start anything,” she said.

Following a brief post campaign, around 30 people turned up to the first meeting in February.

“I thought it was fantastic that so many people came,” said Angela. “Everybody said they wanted to help but it’s not just a case of going in and starting to clear it.

“We can’t start clearing it willy nilly, we need a plan, and we’ve got to be respectful of the graves that are there.”

St Matthew’s Parish Church Council will meet Friends of St Matthew’s group to formally construct a plan for the work in May.