Woman left “disgusted” at state of church graveyard

Lesley Patrick is outraged at the state of St Martin's Church, Brighouse graveyard and the grass overgrown.
Lesley Patrick is outraged at the state of St Martin's Church, Brighouse graveyard and the grass overgrown.

A woman has hit out at the state of the church graveyard where her mother’s ashes are scattered.

Lesley Patrick, 69, made the sorry discovery when she travelled from her home in Drighlington, Leeds, to St Martin’s Parish Church, Church Lane, on the anniversary of her mother’s death in June.

She said: “When I saw the state of it I was horrified, disgusted and upset. The grass was knee deep, it was a disgrace.

“It should never have been allowed to get to a state like that, the people buried there really deserve better.”

In response to the concerns, Reverend Paul Webb said the graveyard has been closed for burials for many years and it was the local authority’s responsibility to cut the grass.

He said: “I understand that they no longer have the resources to do this. We are a relatively small congregation, many of whom are in the upper age range.

“However, we have had two working parties during the last couple of weeks and have made some good progress.

“Part of our plan is that the lower part of the churchyard be dedicated as a wildflower meadow.”

He added that another group will be held on Saturday, August 20, from 9am. Anyone going along is asked to take a petrol mower or strimmer. Meanwhile, Calderdale Council said it would be happy to discuss maintenance of the ground further.

Andrew Pitts, Calderdale Council’s head of neighbourhoods, said: “We always endeavour to keep local areas as clean and tidy as possible, especially cemeteries, where we know that memorials and the environment that they are in are important for bereaved families.

“We have formal agreements with individual churches across Calderdale which mean that the c ouncil carries out the upkeep of the grass and pavements in their grounds.

“The level of maintenance that we provide is based on what the churches identified as their priority when the agreements were made.

“At St Martin’s Church we complete gardening work in line with the agreement.

“If the church feels that more frequent or intensive work needs to be carried out, we are happy to discuss future arrangements with them.”

Concerns can be raised through Calderdale Council’s live chat or by calling 01422 288001.