Graveyard plots are running out, warns church

Belford Parish Church.

Belford Parish Church.

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Councillors in Belford want to ensure that there aren’t any unpleasant surprises when the parish church runs out of space in its graveyard.

At a meeting of Belford Parish Council, Reverend John Beckwith, from St Mary’s Church, was invited along to discuss the issue.

Members heard that the church is now into its last row-but-one of plots, meaning there are probably about 15 left.

Rev Beckwith was unsure whether all of them would be double-depth, but he added that there may be some additional plots dotted around.

Councillor Geoff O’Connell said that once St Mary’s was full, the village would need to consider a 50-year supply, which, based on around seven to 10 burials per year, would mean a two to three-acre site.

“Quite honestly, the parish council would not be in a position to do that,” he added.

Rev Beckwith said that when he first took on the role, he was told that it would be two years before it was full and it’s now six to seven years later. However, he did agree that about two years’ space was left now.

Expanding the churchyard has been explored, but is not viable at present.

The parochial church council is due to undertake a survey of the graveyard soon.

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