A MOTHER has said she is 'heartbroken' after finding her son’s memorial at Immanuel Graveyard "neglected and overgrown".

Wendy Bury, 60, from Oswaldtwistle was one of the many people who commented on a Facebook post angry that a “disrespectful notice” on a gravestone was covering up the name of a lost loved one at the graveyard.

Wendy was visiting her son Carl’s grave on Saturday June, 4, when she noticed the area was overgrown and untidy whilst the “other side of the churchyard was all maintained.”

Carl passed away during an operation to repair a hole in his heart just after his first birthday in September 1983. 

She said: “I was heartbroken and nearly crying when I saw it.

“It was my granddaughter’s 10th birthday that day, so I asked her if she wanted to take Carl some flowers and she was so excited to.

“When we got there the path all the way up to my son’s grave and the six or eight around it was a complete mess.

“The grass was up to my granddaughter’s knees. She was trying to stomp it all down so we could still lay the flowers. We were devastated.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Overgrown grass by Carl's graveOvergrown grass by Carl's grave

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of the Parish of Oswaldtwistle is legally responsible for the care and maintenance of Immanuel Graveyard and is looked after by volunteers known as Church Wardens.

The Parish is part of the Diocese of Blackburn which has a code of regulations that applies to all its churches to prevent any accidents occurring such as the possibility of slips, trips and falls caused by uneven ground and broken headstones.

“Loose objects on graves provide a hazard for heavy-duty grass-cutting machinery and fragments thrown up by mowers can cause serious injury," the regulations state.

Wendy added: “I’ve been told before that we can’t put certain things down because of the lawn mower, but no one’s bothered to cut this part where Carl is anyway.”

The Churchyard Safety guidelines also states where graves are no longer visited or rarely visited, such as the old part of a churchyard, the grass must still be mowed regularly to avoid accidents.

Wendy said she visits her son Carl’s grave regularly and every birthday, and also sees flowers by the surrounding gravestones in the same “old” area.

“It’s obvious that people still visit. The people cutting the grass on the other side have to pass the top right hand side anyway so I can’t understand why they wouldn’t just cut this area.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Grass up to granddaughter's kneesGrass up to granddaughter's knees

Responding to the situation, The Archdeacon of Blackburn, The Venerable Mark Ireland, said: "On the matter of the reportedly untidy section of the graveyard, this is one of the largest church graveyards in Lancashire and is maintained by a small number of dedicated and hard-working volunteers.

“They work hard to make it a place of comfort and solace for the families of those who are laid to rest there.

"The Area Dean will also liaise with the parish to see what can be done to rectify the matter as soon as practically possible.”