Volunteers work on churchyard clean-up

Clean-up at St Matthew's church yard, Lightcliffe.'Volunteers with reverend Kathryn Buck (centre), councillors Graham Hall and David Kirton (right) and organiser Angela Monaghan (far right).
Clean-up at St Matthew's church yard, Lightcliffe.'Volunteers with reverend Kathryn Buck (centre), councillors Graham Hall and David Kirton (right) and organiser Angela Monaghan (far right).

A GOOD start has been made on clearing the churchyard at St Matthew’s Church, Lightcliffe.

More than 20 enthusiastic volunteers of all ages, including ward councillors Graham Hall and David Kirton, put on gloves and cleared about 25 bags of litter before starting work on clearing some of the overgrown graves.

The church is hoping to set up a Friends of St Matthew’s Churchyard in a bid to give the area a complete make-over.

Residents feel the area has become neglected and could be a real asset to the community.

Angela Monaghan, who is leading the group, said: “It was a beautiful, sunny day and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves in spite of the hard work. There’s lots to do, but we’ve made a good start.”

A survey has been arranged for after Easter which will give the group the information they need in order to produce a management plan.

The survey will need to cover a wide range of issues, including the condition of the grounds and monuments, the wildlife and plants and the heritage and history.

The group will put together a draft constitution which will need to be given approval by the St Matthew’s Parish Church Council on May 9.

They also need to set up a steering group to move forward with the action already taken

“This will include me, the Vicar Kathryn Buck, plus, we are suggesting two or three other people. So if anyone does have any experience in doing any of these things and would like to offer their help. Please get in torch with us,” said Angela. Call 07941 286821.

The residents want to improve the area but are respectful of the graves that are in the churchyard.

The next Friends meeting will take place in May after the next PCC meeting.