Category Archives: Funerals

Remembrance Book at St John’s

Did you know that there is a Remembrance Book at St. John’s Church, Hale which is usually positioned on a wooden stand to the right of the West Door, as you enter the church? At present, the book is not in place there because I am planning to get it updated by a retired calligrapher, Sheila Willings. I am very grateful to Sheila as she has kindly agreed to update the book for us free of charge, though the updating may take her a long time, depending on how many extra names I give her to write in the book!

The book has a beautifully illuminated Title Page commemorating Harry Corrigan who died in October 1987 aged 73. There are 28 more names in the book, written in beautiful handwriting. The dates of death of those in the book range from October 1987 to May 2002 but I can add new pages to incorporate other names and dates as required.

All the names currently in the Remembrance Book commemorate people whose ashes are in the Garden of Remembrance at St. John’s. I would be very glad to hear from you if: –

  1. you believe your loved one’s ashes are in the Garden of Remembrance at St. John’s, but their name is not in the Remembrance Book and you would like their name added to the book or
  2. your loved one is buried at St. John’s and you would like their name added to the book

I will need to know from you the full name and date of death in each case. As we are not paying Sheila for her work currently, there is no charge for any additional names to be added, though your patience would be appreciated while Sheila works through the list I will give her.

Do please contact me on 01252 406772 or at wendy.e.edwards@gmail.com with names to be added to the Remembrance Book.

I do not know how long Sheila will be able to do this free work for us, so we may need to introduce a charge in the future if we need to pay another calligrapher to do the work.

I look forward to hearing from you. I also wish to record my thanks to Christine Clayton for her invaluable assistance so far on this matter.

Wendy Edwards

Changes to Graves in St John’s Churchyard

St John’s Churchyard is a special place, a place of great beauty and historical value and a tranquil place for quiet reflection. However, on his last visit, the Archdeacon of Surrey found that the churchyard at St John’s was not conforming to the churchyard regulations and has instructed the Joint Rectors, the Reverends Alan and Lesley Crawley, to rectify this. They have written to the next of kin of all the people buried in the churchyard in the last three years, explaining the situation. However, they do not have the contact details of everyone who has been buried at St John’s.

The rules are much stricter in churchyards than cemeteries, for instance balloons, lights and statues are not permitted. The family of the deceased bear the cost of any memorials and of maintaining them but they do not own the grave space and the church has the task of keeping the churchyard in good order. The regulations specify that the churchyard is a lawned area with headstones, giving a spacious, peaceful and prayerful feel.

The Reverend Alan Crawley says:

“We recognise that the grave of a loved one is a sacred space and we don’t want to add to the grief of the families. A small number of graves do not comply with the churchyard regulations and we have been instructed to ensure that they do. This is obviously a very sensitive issue and we want to talk it through with the families first. It is complicated by the regulations changing over the years, so for instance older graves have surrounds around them that are not permitted today. We would like to ask anyone who is concerned to get in contact with us.”