Church wants to build over graves

Oxford Mail: Churchwarden Wendy Blagden and Rev Margreet Armitstead on the site of the proposed extension in the churchyard Buy this photo » Churchwarden Wendy Blagden and Rev Margreet Armitstead on the site of the proposed extension in the churchyard

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.

Related links

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 margreetarmitstead@btinternet.com before Thursday, February 28.

For more information visit littlemorechurch.org

THE NAMES:

The names on the graves at St Mary and St Nicholas Church

Same grave:

Ellen Wicks, died October 1, 1931

Ada Ann Wicks, died April 25, 1948

Same grave:

Charles Evans, died 1881

Maurice Evans, died 1925

Same grave:

Charles Phipps, died 1841

Charlotte Phipps, died 1950

Same grave:

William Burgess, died October 1865

Ann Burgess, died January 1867

Same grave:

John Barnes, died 1844

Ruth Barnes, died 1870

Same grave:

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

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:10pm Wed 2 Jan 13

BirderSue says...

I have ancestors called Phipps from Littlemore around the same time. WIll have to pull out the names and see what they are.

Seems a little sad to build toilets over the deceased. Just saying!
I have ancestors called Phipps from Littlemore around the same time. WIll have to pull out the names and see what they are. Seems a little sad to build toilets over the deceased. Just saying! BirderSue

2:23pm Wed 2 Jan 13

xjohnx says...

Can't help thinking that with modern day minute congregations and the trend for multifunctional church spaces, that there is ample space inside the existing building for WC's and meetings.
Mind you I suppose its better than Truro Cathedral spending 2.5 million to have the exterior cleaned and putting a huger 'Make Poverty History' banner on the scaffolding.
Can't help thinking that with modern day minute congregations and the trend for multifunctional church spaces, that there is ample space inside the existing building for WC's and meetings. Mind you I suppose its better than Truro Cathedral spending 2.5 million to have the exterior cleaned and putting a huger 'Make Poverty History' banner on the scaffolding. xjohnx

5:36pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Joan Williams says...

I grew up in Littlemore and attended the church there before this new lady vicar came on the scene The names of the dearly departed named for the chop are familiar to me.

How dare this very un-reverend smarmy Margreet stand there smiling with her hands on a memorial stone she's about to desecrate?!

It doesn't matter if, like me, the descendants of those buried there have moved away and can no longer tend the graves ... not a sin! Desecration of a grave *is* a sin!

Take that look off your face Ms Armitstead and go read your bible!
I grew up in Littlemore and attended the church there before this new lady vicar came on the scene The names of the dearly departed named for the chop are familiar to me. How dare this very un-reverend smarmy Margreet stand there smiling with her hands on a memorial stone she's about to desecrate?! It doesn't matter if, like me, the descendants of those buried there have moved away and can no longer tend the graves ... not a sin! Desecration of a grave *is* a sin! Take that look off your face Ms Armitstead and go read your bible! Joan Williams

5:40pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Joan Williams says...

BirderSue wrote:
I have ancestors called Phipps from Littlemore around the same time. WIll have to pull out the names and see what they are. Seems a little sad to build toilets over the deceased. Just saying!
I remember the Phipps family. May they rest in peace!
[quote][p][bold]BirderSue[/bold] wrote: I have ancestors called Phipps from Littlemore around the same time. WIll have to pull out the names and see what they are. Seems a little sad to build toilets over the deceased. Just saying![/p][/quote]I remember the Phipps family. May they rest in peace! Joan Williams

6:38pm Wed 2 Jan 13

carfax cabby ox1 says...

Joan Williams wrote:
I grew up in Littlemore and attended the church there before this new lady vicar came on the scene The names of the dearly departed named for the chop are familiar to me.

How dare this very un-reverend smarmy Margreet stand there smiling with her hands on a memorial stone she's about to desecrate?!

It doesn't matter if, like me, the descendants of those buried there have moved away and can no longer tend the graves ... not a sin! Desecration of a grave *is* a sin!

Take that look off your face Ms Armitstead and go read your bible!
I do not think that it is desecration of a grave, the memorial will be placed in another part of the graveyard, and the bodies will still be resting at peace untouched. Do not forget that the Plain was also once a graveyard.
[quote][p][bold]Joan Williams[/bold] wrote: I grew up in Littlemore and attended the church there before this new lady vicar came on the scene The names of the dearly departed named for the chop are familiar to me. How dare this very un-reverend smarmy Margreet stand there smiling with her hands on a memorial stone she's about to desecrate?! It doesn't matter if, like me, the descendants of those buried there have moved away and can no longer tend the graves ... not a sin! Desecration of a grave *is* a sin! Take that look off your face Ms Armitstead and go read your bible![/p][/quote]I do not think that it is desecration of a grave, the memorial will be placed in another part of the graveyard, and the bodies will still be resting at peace untouched. Do not forget that the Plain was also once a graveyard. carfax cabby ox1

6:59pm Wed 2 Jan 13

Feelingsmatter says...

Over my dead body!
Over my dead body! Feelingsmatter

2:54pm Wed 9 Jan 13

IrisLillie says...

I understand the need to MOVE the graves sometimes... but to just move the stone and build a toliet room over the actual grave seem ... somehow... really disrespectful and uncaring. She just looking to do this on the cheap...
I understand the need to MOVE the graves sometimes... but to just move the stone and build a toliet room over the actual grave seem ... somehow... really disrespectful and uncaring. She just looking to do this on the cheap... IrisLillie

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree