Daughter’s ‘distress’ at state of Ingham graves

Emma Lambert's parents' graves at St Bartholomew's Church, Ingham, when they were covered by foliage
Emma Lambert's parents' graves at St Bartholomew's Church, Ingham, when they were covered by foliage
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A woman, whose parents died while she was just a child, was upset to find their graves covered over by branches and twigs pruned from trees.

Emma Lambert’s parents’ ashes are buried at St Bartholomew’s Church, in Ingham, but, a new mother herself, it had been many months since she had visited their plot.

Emma Lambert's parents' graves at St Bartholomew's Church, Ingham

Emma Lambert's parents' graves at St Bartholomew's Church, Ingham

When she did, four weeks ago, what she found was ‘really upsetting’ – trees cut down and left on top of their stones, and on other, older graves.

She says she was reassured the debris would be removed, but, when she returned last weekend, it was still there, so she cleared what she could.

The Rev Phillip Garbett, team rector, said he ‘completely empathised’ with Emma.

“The most likely cause was that a team of volunteers kindly working to tidy the churchyard late last year were unable to return as planned to collect some of the cuttings. It was unfortunate that the cuttings were unable to be removed straightaway and, in future, we will ensure cuttings are placed away from marked graves,” he said.

Emma, 38, has since been told that items, including a border placed around the graves, are ‘not permitted’ and may have to be removed.

She said: “That wood surround has been there way over 10 years. I’m trying to preserve my mum and dad’s gravestones. The reason I put it there is because they weren’t being looked after. I would be devastated if they told me I had to start moving stuff.”

Mr Garbett said the parochial church council was working to improve the churchyard in line with diocesan guidelines and would be ‘seeking to work sensitively with relatives to achieve this’.