Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford Wethersfield

Churchyard proposed repairs

Churchyard - Proposed Works

For several years we have been talking about matters that need attending to in the graveyard, but our focus has had to be on the fabric of the building itself. As work on the Nave roof concludes, our thoughts can now turn to making the churchyard safer, and a more pleasant place to be in.

A discussion with the Archdeacon in early 2020, about the need to rebuild many graves where the mortar or iron had failed, tombs whose state of disrepair is a health and safety matter, or where trees have grown through, led to a suggestion that the grave tablets were instead laid flat on the ground.

We have put together a proposal which suggests which graves require remedial action.

We have also proposed a number of other beneficial improvements to the graveyard, such as improving the drainage by the North Porch, and reusing materials already present for other purposes, such (re) building the boundary walls, to secure steep/crumbling banks and to make the ground generally level enough to be mown rather than hand-strimmed.

There is also a proposal for the much-needed Hoggin Path and kerbing to the main door, to be paid for by Independent Friends.

Proposals for consideration:

1. Removal of dangerous / falling down tombs, adjacent to the main path and the North Porch

2. Deconstruction of dangerous / falling down tombs, adjacent to the main path on the West side

3. Deconstruction of dangerous / falling down tombs, near to the Tower door

4. Solving the waterlogging to the East side of the North Porch

5. Creating the Hoggin Path to the North Porch

6. Infilling the path to the North West Gate

7. Creating a modest retaining wall by the North West Gate (this area needs constant clearing)

8. Digging out the old compost heap on the Western Boundary

9. Rebuilding the southern Graveyard boundary wall - it has been collapsed for decades

10. Building a wall using reclaimed bricks along the boundary of the extended Graveyard with Ivanhoe House

11. Easing sundry tilted gravestones back to vertical, where required, and securing them.

The idea is that works would be carried out a minimal cost but to a high standard, ideally calling upon the talents of the community. Most of the works require labour and tools, rather than materials. It is envisaged that many of the materials that will be needed are already on site, either currently discarded, or made available by predecessor works.

There are photos of ideas of what could be achieved at http://wethersfieldchurch.org.uk/#churchyard

There is no particular timescale to which we can commit - it depends on the availability of both volunteer labour and nominal funding. We may not be able to achieve all of the proposals.

We understand the sensitivity of works to a churchyard. If you have concerns about any aspect of the proposed works or know of any living relative of any of the graves that need making safe, then we would be pleased to from you.

Please let us know your thoughts by email to [email protected] Thank you.