Church leaders have apologised after a family discovered ornaments placed on their grandad’s grave had been dumped in a plastic bag.
Relatives of Arthur Robert Moate were horrified when they found the bag partially hidden in long grass at the cemetery.
Sally Humphries, 31, of Victoria Avenue, Darnley said: “We couldn’t believe it when we saw what they had done. They had just chucked everything in a plastic bag and dumped it.
“When we asked what had happened they told us we could have the things back - we were disgusted.
“The church has apologised but it doesn’t take back what they have done or the upset it caused to our family.
“The plot is a family grave, my grandad’s mum, dad and brother are also buried there. My mum wanted to go there too but now she wants the grave to be moved.”
The grave is at St Chad’s Church, in Headingley, Leeds.
Speaking on behalf of the church council, churchwarden Nigel Greenwood said: “We apologise to the family for both failing to contact them in advance and not holding the items in a secure indoor location. Conscious of the sensitivity of this issue, we have looked into the matter and are writing to the relatives to express our regret.
“Items placed on graves are subject to regulation in order to preserve the dignity and character of churchyards, and notices are displayed to ensure that relatives are aware of their importance. Practical issues relating to mowing and general maintenance have also to be considered, along with ensuring a safe environment.
“The regulations are a legal requirement which are laid down and enforceable by the Diocesan Chancellor. We always try to apply the guidelines in a considerate and appropriate manner
“However, on this occasion there was clearly both a lack of communication and incorrect storage of the items pending collection.” The church is now reviewing procedures.