In the beginning

So this is where we start.

Our Sidmouth Cemeteries are a bit of an embarrassment. Perhaps it is because the Church doesn’t have responsibility nor the Parish/Town council but that the District Council is now in charge, but perhaps it isn’t: rather than apportioning responsibility or blame it is time for individuals to step forward.

This would not be a new thing in England, for those of us cracking on in years the memory of families regularly tending graves is clear. There would be parents and children pulling up weeds and perhaps even cleaning gravel from the grave. People would bring shears and neatly trim the grass around the grave, if the people at the next grave had need then the shears would be shared. In this way most of the churchyard would be maintained. Where there was no longer someone to tend a nearby grave it was not unknown for others to do it as a sign of respect.

So how have things come to this state? Are people less likely to visit graves in this day and age? Are cemeteries not attached to a church more likely to fall into disrepair? Are people too busy and not religious enough to value the quiet of a burial ground? Have we all got too used to things being ‘someone else’s job’

Then we have the problems about what to do with the old areas where there is no-one left to remember them. Should they be kept artificially new looking? Or should they and their surroundings reflect the passage of time.

If you want to be part of these sorts of discussions and are willing to volunteer time to carry out work which is needed then join us in Cherishing Sidmouth Cemeteries. You can reach us via the Contact Us page