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No angels rule in Brockworth graveyard anger grieving mum

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 03, 2012

  • Lynn Thornton

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FAMILIES with loved ones buried in a church graveyard have been ordered to remove items around the headstones as they "breach cemetery rules".

Letters have been sent to relatives of people buried at St George's Church graveyard in Brockworth warning them decorative items will be removed if not collected.

One family, whose 24-year-old son is buried there, say they are heartbroken by the letter.

Two stone angels and a cross have been attached to the headstone of Kevin Camelleri, and there has been at least one there ever since he died in 2000, after taking his own life. Now his mum Lyn Thornton has been told the ornaments must go.

She said: "It is a terrible situation. It is awful to lose a child, but sometimes the older they are the harder it is because you have built a life with them. The council has been very insensitive over this.

"The ornaments help make it personal and, to be honest, it helps to have something there. It can be quite a cold place, especially at this time of year when I could take up flowers now and tomorrow they would be dead.

"They are stuck to the headstone and not on the grass and they are not intrusive at all. We used to have a garden down the length of the plot but we eventually gave in when they said they wanted it all to be turfed over. Now we are fighting to keep the angels." Only one bunch of flowers is allowed under parish council rules, meaning she and Kevin's 14-year-old daughter are not allowed to leave flowers at the same time. Lyn was told to get a stonemason to remove the angels from the headstone but is worried it will be damaged.

Julie Shirley, parish council clerk, said: "It is hard to carry out [winter maintenance] work when there are lots of vases and other items around headstones.

"The guidelines have not changed and each one can have one headstone and one vase of flowers. When there is a small child involved we can relax it a little bit but over time they must stick to the rules."

In 2007, Lesley Hill, widow of Iraq war hero Mark, was ordered to remove angels on his grave at St George's in case someone injured themselves and took legal action.

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  • nomossystone  |  December 04 2012, 9:17PM

    Yes, we have a notice in our cemetery to tell people to remove their grave decorations, written in very small print. I was astounded when told by our vicar that I would have to remove the stones from a grave of a friend, he did not seem pleased with the answer I gave him!

  • TimMessanger  |  December 04 2012, 7:08PM

    I have limited sympathy but the rules are there for a reason or they will turn into chavdom! BBC - http://tinyurl.com/d2shrhl Daily May - http://tinyurl.com/d9nteod

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  • thomas1996  |  December 04 2012, 8:08AM

    Takeaway22, Same Mr Hunt, it was Tesco Brockworth not long after it opened in 2006. I can confirm there is PLENTY of jam in their do'h nuts baked in-store (and custard, chocolate in those too) I know all the bakery staff, very very nice people who take their jam seriously.

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  • Takeaway22  |  December 03 2012, 9:24PM

    thomas1996 - Nice one! I remember that story coming out and it was a double take. Two questions though: 1/ Is it really the same bloke? 2/ I thought it was Sainsbury rather than Tesco

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  • thomas1996  |  December 03 2012, 5:08PM

    Jim Hunt (chairman of Brockworth Parish Council) should go back to worrying about the quantity of jam in his doughnuts from Tesco's.

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  • loo1980  |  December 03 2012, 4:42PM

    My Mum has a cremation stone up at St. Georges - it was bad enough losing her at the age of 49 2 years ago and we have also had a letter stating she is only allowed one vase and one lot of flowers! So with her having family that place flowers there on a weekly basis we are being told that we are only allowed one lot of flowers after 2 years of her being there! It is disgusting they say they need to cut the grass etc we are the ones that cut the grass as when we go there it is over grown and they have never kept it up to date! Her flowers are around her stone in vases not laid down anywhere, we have one vase which was a SMALL welly boot on her stone and had to move this also how is this in anybodies way??!! You pay for the plot you should be able to place what you like there in reason obviously. So now with Christmas coming up only one of her 5 children or her siblings can put flowers up there - OUT OF ORDER

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  • kboaden  |  December 03 2012, 2:26PM

    what an absolute disgrace both Brockworth parish council and the comments made by Alfedo, so what if its a little difficult to work around objects left for loved ones by grieving family members and what might be tat to Alfedo may be of huge value to someone else, as a resident of Brockworth i would like to comment that there are some very precious past members of our community resting in that graveyard and they deserve to be remembered and celebrated how their families see fit, so rather than causing hurt to the families that serve our community so very well how about the council show some understanding and some compassion

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  December 03 2012, 2:03PM

    There is more and more petty officialdom in this god forsaken country, and if we don't stand up for common sense, very soon this will be a fascist dictatorship. There needs to be some discretion, and if in the case highlighted, they are attached to the gravestone, who gives a toss? How about an area say 'six inches deep, the width of any particular stone', then anything outside of these parameters would be removed, and left in the office for say one month. Everyone will know EXACTLY where they stand, and those that flout the 'rules' will know they risk having possessions removed. I sometimes wonder how these @r$£h0|£$ sleep at night!

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  • gallopingbear  |  December 03 2012, 1:41PM

    Disgusting. The most important thing is that the graves are well kept and don't have grass growing over them. Ornaments mean that groundskeepers will have to cut around them, but these graves are obviously going to be well tended by the relatives anyway! The one bunch of flowers is also ridiculous. In one place I lived the local little church had several graves which were well decorated. One child's grave was always decorated with postcards and seashells from holiday often written by the deceased child's young sibling. At Christmas it had a little Christmas tree fully decorated. It was lovely and surely it helped the whole family to go often to his grave and do these pleasant things to keep remembering him. It did not look the slightest bit tacky. By putting such restrictions on graves it must surely upset and frustrate the bereaved when visiting. As long as monuments are not huge or flourescent (Delboy and Rodney style) and do not extend beyond the plot then what is the problem? Perhaps the Parish Council should be reminded that it is sacred ground and mad with power they may be, but they are still mere mortals elected to represent a small area.

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  • Alfredo_  |  December 03 2012, 1:16PM

    I'm with the Parish Council on this. What about other people who visit their own relatives? Why should the be required to put up with tat left by others? Before long graveyards will start to look like those dreadful roadside "memorials", such as that one on Leckhampton Hill.

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