A VICAR who hopes to extend a church building over old graves is appealing for relatives of those buried there to come forward.
There are up to 10 graves in the area of the churchyard where Littlemore’s St Mary and St Nicholas Church could be extended to provide a toilet, kitchen and meeting room for its congregation.
The Reverend Margreet Armitstead said that it would only be gravestones that are moved and the remains would not be disturbed.
She said: “There is a small number of graves. We want to know whether the graves are still tended to.
“The foundations of the extension will go on top of the ground so the graves will not be disturbed. We would put the gravestones somewhere else in the churchyard.”
The graves are mostly from the 19th century, but the most recent one is from the mid 20th century.
She added: “It’s up to 10 graves, very old graves that have not been tended for a long time.
“We had a look everywhere in the churchyard and it is the only place it can happen.”
The church was founded by John Henry Newman, whose mother Jemima Newman laid the first stone of the church’s foundation in 1835.
Newman consecrated the church, in Sandford Road, Littlemore, in 1836.
Because of its history, Ms Armitstead said the church was regularly visited.
Ms Armitstead said: “We really need the extension as we don’t have any water.
“It is for the church, but also for the wider community.
“We are very limited in what we can do because of lack of facilities.
“We also get a lot of pilgrims so we would like to have the basic toilets.”
She hopes the estimated £200,000 extension will benefit the children’s Sunday school and church groups.
If no one comes forward with any objections to the relocation of the gravestones, the church will move forward with the plans and begin fundraising.
Anyone with comments is asked to call Ms Armitstead on 01865 748003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before Thursday, February 28.
For more information visit littlemorechurch.org
The names on the graves at St Mary and St Nicholas Church
Ellen Wicks, died October 1, 1931
Ada Ann Wicks, died April 25, 1948
Charles Evans, died 1881
Maurice Evans, died 1925
Charles Phipps, died 1841
Charlotte Phipps, died 1950
William Burgess, died October 1865
Ann Burgess, died January 1867
John Barnes, died 1844
Ruth Barnes, died 1870
Thomas Barnes, died 1860
Mary Barnes, died 1861
William, indistinguishable full name and date
Names indistinguishable, 1847 and 1852
Names indistinguishable, 1867
Names indistinguishable, died aged 39 or 59 years
Martha Belect, no date distinguishable