CHURCHYARDS in Flintshire are fast running out of burial space.
Church leaders have spoken of their deepening concern at the increasing lack of plots and say they are struggling to cope with demand.
The Rev Sarah Hildreth, vicar of Christ Church, Mostyn, and St Mary’s Parish Church, Bagillt, says both graveyards have already reached capacity.
“Both my graveyards are closed, no more can be buried there,” she said.
“Parishioners are very upset. They see that when their time comes they can’t come to peace there. There is another graveyard in New Brighton where people from this area go, or if they have previously lived in another area they may have the service here and then be buried there.”
She said the time would also come when New Brighton Cemetery reaches capacity.
A similar story is being felt in Buckley.
The Rev Alan Tiltman says no new burial spaces have been available at St Matthew’s Church since he became vicar there more than six years ago.
“There is just physically no space available,” he said. “Most people are used to the situation but there is a concern that graves are also becoming limited at Buckley Municipal Cemetery.
“Hopefully this can be resolved as somewhere along the line we could face a major shortage of graves in Buckley.”
Fifty years ago Mold Town Council bought a parcel of land near Tyddyn Street to act as an extension of the cemetery on Alexandra Road.
But a land survey has revealed water content in the soil is too high, making it impossible for burial purposes.
Mold mayor Chris Bithell said Flintshire Council was willing to exchange a playing field on Gas Lane for the Tyddyn Street land but “phenomenal” costs have prevented this so far.
Cllr Bithell said: “Flintshire Council is quite willing to talk about an exchange of land but the costs associated with it are phenomenal – we’re talking more than £100,000.”
The concerns coincide with The Church in Wales calling for a review of burial space in Wales.
Alex Glanville, head of property services at the Church in Wales, warned it will become increasingly harder for people to be buried in their local communities.
He said: “We can no longer take it for granted that we will have a last resting place in or near our community.
“The majority of our churchyards will soon be full.”
A Flintshire Council spokesman said: “There are approximately 10,000 burial spaces left within the 15 county council maintained cemeteries.
“We do plan ahead to provide sufficient burial spaces in local community areas and the availability of burial spaces in council cemeteries is not currently a major concern although some cemeteries do have less spaces available than others.”
l A new municipal cemetery was unveiled last June in Connah’s Quay.
The site on Kelsterton Lane is is expected to serve the area for the next 60 to 80 years.
In Hawarden, a second municipal cemetery was opened in the 1960s and later expanded to help meet demand in the area.
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