MP steps into graveyard controversy
Maggie Throup, Member of Parliament for Erewash, has called on the Rt. Rev. The Bishop of Derby to review the decision made by All Saints’ Church, Kirk Hallam, asking families to remove certain types of floral tributes and associated memorials from graves within the churchyard.
Under new rules imposed by the Diocese, ornaments such as artificial flowers, glasses, photographs and toys will have to be removed from graves or face being confiscated.
Erewash residents informed Maggie of the church’s decision to start enforcing new rules. Maggie has since written to the Rt. Rev. Bishop of Derby asking for an urgent review of this decision.
“A number of distressed Erewash families have contacted me about the new rules for placing ornaments on churchyard graves at All Saints’ Church, Kirk Hallam.
“Although I fully appreciate that the Diocese has a responsibility to ensure that its churchyards are kept safe and tidy, and that tributes are of a respectful nature, this is an area of huge sensitivities and personal taste.
“We should all be able to grieve and remember our loved ones, however, what is particularly worrying is that All Saints’ Church did not consult the mourning families before they made this decision.
“I have written to the Rt. Rev. Bishop of Derby asking her to urgently review this decision. I am also calling on the Church Authorities and the affected families to engage in open dialogue which will hopefully lead to a common-sense solution that will benefit all parties.”
Unless there is a change of decision, the churchyard will be inspected later this month and any unauthorised ornaments will be removed.
Red Christine French said earlier: “To be clear, the church has not started to remove unauthorised objects, we have put a tray in the churchyard for those who have removed such items.”
The rules regarding what can be left on graves in Kirk Hallam churchyard are set by the Church of England and Derby Diocese. They are to do with standards and safety so that all visitors to the graveyard and the working party who keep it tidy can do so safely.