Cemetery crisis is ‘not grave’ in Colne

Colne Cemetery.'Photo Ben Parsons
Colne Cemetery.'Photo Ben Parsons

Residents are being reassured that a “graveyard crisis” has not yet reached Colne and its surrounding villages.

Recent national reports have stated that many graveyards in England are already full or nearly out of space.

A BBC survey in September revealed that half of England’s cemeteries could run out of room within the next 20 years, and that a quarter of 358 local authorities would have no more space for burials within a decade.

Some experts are so concerned about the lack of graveyard spaces that they are calling for a change in law that would see graves more than 73-years-old re-used in cemeteries.

But for St Michael and All Angels Church, in Foulridge, and for Colne Cemetery, the situation is not yet so dire.

St Michael’s rural plot still has 250 grave spaces available, and with an average of six to seven burials a year, there should still be room in the graveyard for around 41 years. The church offers grave spaces, as well as a Garden of Remembrance.

And at Colne Cemetery, Pendle Council have confirmed that there will still be space for at least 15 to 20 years, with the possibility of a cemetery extension.

Mike Raw (47), volunteer churchyard manager for St Michael and All Angels Church, said: “We are getting an average of six to seven burials a year, and there are 250 grave spaces left.

“It is inevitable that people are going to die, it is the most certain thing that is going to happen to anybody. And people do have to plan.

“You can apply for a particular place in the graveyard, through myself and the Diocese.

“We bury anybody who has a connection to the parish, or anybody within that churchyard.”

And Philip Mousdale, deputy chief executive, said: “We have ample provision in our cemeteries for at least 20 years based on current projections, and existing cemeteries are capable of extension as required on to adjacent land owned by the council.”

For more information on St Michael and All Angels Church contact Mr Raw by emailing mikearaw@aol.com. Alternatively, visit www.churchofengland.org

And for more details on Colne Cemetery go to www.pendle.gov.uk/info/200032/deaths_funerals_and_cremations