A new community garden will be created in a graveyard at All Saints Church in Skircoat Green.
Work has started on the project to transform the graveyard, which is next door to All Saints Junior and Infant School, into a community space with a new path, seating and flowers.
Ian Byfield, from All Saints Church, said: “The church is nearly 150 years old, and it looks pretty grim from the outside.
“Inside it’s bright and modern, but the outside wasn’t giving the right impression.
“Some of the headstones were starting to lean and looking the worse for wear.
“So we took the decision to create a space for use by the community.
“The first phase of the project is to move all the headstones, apart from four which will remain in situ, either around the wall of the graveyard or another part of the grounds.
“That should be finished soon. The second phase is the planting, which should take place in the Autumn, and then it should be finished next Spring.”
Ian said there have only been two burials in the north graveyard in the last 50 years
“The church has digitally recorded the details of all their graves, and has archived photos, words and GPS data of them.
“We did intensive research to find out if there were any issues,” said Ian.
A total of £45,000 has been raised for the project through church events and fundraisers, personal donations and grants.
“The response has been very good,” said Ian. “We’ve had a lot of support from local organisations, who are keen to use it for their activities.
“We also have All Saints School next door, who have very little outdoor space, so it will be a great resource for them as they can just pop through the gate.”