Bishop consecrates Thurston church’s graveyard extension

The Rt Rev Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, Rev Manette Crossman, Vicar of f Great Barton & Thurston, Col. Christopher Wells, Assistant Churchwarden and Mrs. Irene Churchus, Churchwarden with members of the choir and a few of the nearly 60 people who attended. ANL-160107-153144001
The Rt Rev Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, Rev Manette Crossman, Vicar of f Great Barton & Thurston, Col. Christopher Wells, Assistant Churchwarden and Mrs. Irene Churchus, Churchwarden with members of the choir and a few of the nearly 60 people who attended. ANL-160107-153144001
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The sight of berobed church officials, including a bishop, wandering around a field at Thurston may have looked strange but it was the last act in creating a new cemetery.

The Rt Rev Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, was consecrating an extension to the churchyard at St Peter’s Church, which involves walking around the boundaries of the new land.

He did so accompanied by Rev Manette Crossman, vicar of Great Barton and Thurston, Col Christopher Wells, assistant churchwarden and Irene Churchus, churchwarden, plus members of the choir and at least some of the 60 people who had attended the service which started in the church.

Rev Crossman said: “It was fascinating – I’ve never done it before.”

The church’s original churchyard only had about 10 spaces left until a village family donated about 1.5 acres of land. Before it could be consecrated, the church had to go through the more mundane task of getting planning permission for the change of use to a graveyard.

Rev Crossman explained: “We had to comply with both church law and the law of the land.

“It’s a very generous gift and not just to the church but to the whole community.”

The field will be landscaped before it is used for the first funeral.