Saltford Parish Council is responsible for the management of safety at St Mary’s Churchyard. Through the precept raised by Saltford Parish Council from residents, regular grounds maintenance work by a contractor is overseen by SPC to ensure the churchyard is safe for visitors. However this does not include the weeding of individual graves (unless related to a safety issue).
St Mary’s Church, Saltford, is the owner of this closed churchyard. A ‘closed churchyard’ is a churchyard belonging to a Church of England church which has been formally closed for burials (by an Order in Council made by the Privy Council under the Burials Act). Parish Councils can be requested to manage the safety of ‘closed churchyards’, as in this instance.
As many of the older graves are understandably no longer tended to by relatives, further to regular grounds maintenance works as managed by SPC, St Mary’s Church has recently successfully applied for a Culture Recovery Fund Grant for Heritage. This grant will be used to ensure an improved visitor experience to both St Mary’s Church (a Grade II listed building) and its surrounding churchyard.
Part of the grant will be used to greatly improve the overall appearance of the churchyard. This includes the removal of dead weeds and overgrowth on older graves, and also removal of ivy, weeds and soil from a small area of the churchyard. This action is further to other recent improvements made by St Mary’s at the Church Quiet Garden, Churchyard and Church Hall car park.
Due to the upcoming works, SPC and St Mary’s Church would like residents to be aware that for approximately two weeks starting on 24 May 2021 (weather pending), contractors appointed by St Mary’s Church will be carrying out works that may be disruptive to those visiting the churchyard.
Following these one-off grant funded works, a small team of volunteers at St Mary’s Church will maintain the state of some of the older grave areas by carrying out minor weeding and clearance.
Saltford Parish Council congratulates St Mary’s Church on their successful grant application to fund these churchyard improvements and looks forward to seeing the improvements made.
Please also see SPC’s recent article Search for person(s) responsible for planting/tend Cypress Lawson trees in churchyard article.
For information about SPC’s responsibilities please visit our Council Responsibilities page.