HEADINGTON Quarry residents angered by church plans to pave over a grave to make way for an extension are demanding a complete rethink on the project.

Proposals for an extension at Holy Trinity Church, which homes the grave of CS Lewis, were approved last month to cries of “shame on you” from local residents.

The extension which will see a new disabled toilet, crèche and kitchenette faced backlash from local residents who said it was both disrespectful and unnecessary.

Amanda Blake, a former resident and objector who was christened and married at the church, called the plans insensitive.

Now living in Yarnton, she said: "My twin boys, born prematurely in September 2005, are buried there.

"The spot for their final resting place was chosen carefully by myself and my husband because you could stand at their grave, look over the perimeter wall and see Quarry School, a place that is, as well as the church, very familiar to me.

“I see the back of the church every week when I go and tend my baby boys’ grave.

“Thomas and William’s grave is about two metres from where the new extension will be.

“How on earth do they intend to dig foundations and erect scaffolding without disturbing my sons’ grave?"

Stephanie Meesom, who is a member of the Holy Trinity Preservation Group, said that the group would be fighting the plans and would be taking the matter to the Diocese of Oxford.

She said: “There have been several letters stating that people feel very passionately that the extension should not go ahead.

“We feel the parishioners weren’t being listened to. We are very opposed to any graves being affected.

“What people from the parish feel is that the church was built for the people of the parish and many of the descendants and families are still here so they hold the church very close to their hearts and have done so for many, many years."

Ms Meesom is concerned while only one grave is being paved over, others will be damaged while work is carried out.

She added: “There are graves in very close proximity and we have also asked for a geophysical survey to check for unmarked graves.

“We feel it is really unnecessary to mess this church about because they have other facilities nearby.

“It is not that we are against change, it is that we are opposed to unnecessary change.”

In response, church Reverend Tim Stead said that the method that would be used for digging the foundations; called 'micro piling,' would not be invasive and would have a 'minimal' impact.

He added: "We are absolutely committed to the dignity of all these graves in the churchyard."