Grieving woman says she cannot mourn in overgrown graveyard

Published date: 17 July 2013 |
Published by: Nathan Rowden
Read more articles by Nathan Rowden


A GRIEVING woman said she cannot mourn her parents as their headstone lies in a ‘depressing’ overgrown graveyard.

Lynne Brierly is distraught that her mum and dad’s resting place has been left to become an ‘overgrown mess’.

The 52-year-old from Plas Tirion, Johnstown, had gone to lay flowers at the grave at the Church of St John in Rhosymedre, only to discover her parents’ burial plot was unkept and surrounded by uncut long vegetation.

Yesterday the Diocese of St Asaph, which is responsible for the upkeep of the graveyard, said it ‘simply cannot afford’ to cut the grass more regularly, arguing it costs the congregation £900 a time.

The graveyard will not now be cut until next month.

But Mrs Brierly was furious.

She said: “The graveyard is a total mess and is very overgrown.

“It’s upsetting. I only lost my dad a couple of years ago but the whole place is depressing and looks like a cornfield.

“There are people going to keep graves tidy and pay their respects but they just can’t get to it.

“I can’t go and grieve for my parents, it’s saddening and unbelievable.”

The church falls under the Diocese of St Asaph, who said funding issues have been the main reason for the unkempt graveyard.

A spokesman for the diocese said: “We understand the concerns of people visiting the burial ground in Rhosymedre and the grass will be cut in August.

“Each time the grass is cut it costs the congregation £900 and because the burial ground in Rhosymedre is now full, the Church receives no income from new burials to help pay for the upkeep.

“In England local councils take on the responsibility of maintaining closed burial grounds but that’s not the case in Wales and we simply cannot afford to pay for more regular maintenance.

“Burial grounds are community assets – they are not just for the church congregation. We would like to see the Welsh Government legislate for councils to maintain closed burial grounds to take this burden away from our congregations.”

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  1. Posted by: Roland Cleth at 16:33 on 17 July 2013 Report

    Isn't it tragic that the Church has no money.

  2. Posted by: sheefag at 23:01 on 17 July 2013 Report

    If she cared enough, She could always do something radical like tend the grave herself.

  3. Posted by: Welsh Witch at 08:08 on 18 July 2013 Report

    A look at Cefn Community Council accounts will show that they have been giving £1000 per year towards the up keep of Rhosymedre churchyard. The lady far right of the picture is Rhona Roberts, Clerk of Cefn Community Council and was at one time church warden

  4. Posted by: kiros at 10:06 on 18 July 2013 Report

    Diocese of St Asaph have money available for some projects, obviously the care of Churchyards is not high on their list. Couldn't the parishioners get together and have a family day where they clear up the churchyard and cut the grass, people power.

  5. Posted by: kevinweston2 at 18:26 on 18 July 2013 Report

    Whereas in England money is allocated to councils and the council budgets to the various needs, in Wales they get a lump sum allocated at will and wasted. The council is delegated by WAG to look after burial grounds.

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