Family speaks out over graveyard laws

Susan Lister from Chickenley, Wakefield, has been told one year on from her husband, David's, death, that she is not allowed to have too many flowers on his grave. Susan has also been told to remove all memorial gifts from the graveside.'Picture shows Susan with her family by David's grave. Also showing several other well kept graves in the foreground.'w8212a212

Susan Lister from Chickenley, Wakefield, has been told one year on from her husband, David's, death, that she is not allowed to have too many flowers on his grave. Susan has also been told to remove all memorial gifts from the graveside.'Picture shows Susan with her family by David's grave. Also showing several other well kept graves in the foreground.'w8212a212

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A GRIEVING family have been told to remove flowers, gifts and special memorials from the grave of a loved one.

Susan Lister was told to remove accessories from her husband David’s grave at South Ossett graveyard, on Manor Road.

And she said some of them, including gifts made by her grandchildren, had been there since he was buried a year ago.

Mrs Lister, of Chickenley, said: “The kids are really upset and don’t want to take the things off. We’re all still grieving and I find it quite offensive.

“I’ve now been given something to sign asking that I remove them but I won’t do it.

“There were some lovely little trinkets from his grandkids that we’ve been told to take off.

“We’ve also been told to remove chippings.”

Mrs Lister said she thought letters had been sent out to other families too.

Several families have contacted the Express about problems at the graveyard.

Last year, the families of Sandra Barlow and Jessica Harris spoke out after being told to change the colour and size of headstones.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Wakefield said vicars can be prosecuted for not enforcing regulations for grave sites officially set in 1994.

She said: “The vicar has received a number of complaints from other bereaved families that additional items are preventing them from reaching their loved ones’ memorials.

“These complaints have given the vicar no option but to contact each of the families with additional items to explain the legislation and the cause of complaint and ask to meet to try and resolve this for everyone to be able to grieve and show their respects for their loved ones in that part of the churchyard.

“The purpose of this legislation is to preserve this community resource for everyone, ensure good practice and help the management of parish churchyards.”

Families have the right to appeal to The Diocesan Registrar, Wakefield Diocesan Registry, Bank House, Burton Street. WF1 2DA.