It’s all happening at St Michael’s
Two major projects are coming to fruition at St Michael’s, and many people are asking what is going on, so we will try to explain.
We have been conscious that since the building works in 2019 that the hot air heating system is not up to expectations. Instead of heating the building we are going to heat the congregation. It is like the system in a car with a hot seat. We can vary which pews are heated and which are not so the number of pews heated per service will vary with the estimated size of the congregation. Pews will be clearly marked with a red notice for NO HEATING and green for a pew that is heated.
New ashes plot
The other significant project involves bulldozers, slabs, concrete mixers etc. There are 3 types of funerals at St Michael’s, a memorial service in the church only, a burial in the graveyard or an internment of ashes following cremation at a crematorium elsewhere. These days the proportion of burials to interment of ashes is about 5 ashes to 1 burial. Our existing ashes plot that we have been using for at least two years is beside the path down from the lynch gate to the church and there are only about three spaces left.
We are therefore building a new ashes plot beyond the church in a site near the perimeter wall. The site was deliberately chosen there because about 30 years ago there were gravestones dotted all over the place there with no record of the burial in our possession. The gravestones all date before 1807 and have been moved to the wall, where they now rest. For a casket of a departed person, we only have to dig down about 15 inches, whereas a burial needs to be at least 6ft under the ground and if you find bones then a lot of bureaucracy input upon the church and this we want to avoid. We are laying 3 circular path rings and the caskets containing the ashes of a dear friend or relative will be interned between the rings and marked with a standard headstone for an ashes plot. In that way we are making better use of the space and most importantly relatives and mourners will be able to stand on the circular path rings and look and tend the appropriate grave. Work started on 4th January but the recent week of very wet weather has made the area so boggy that work had to stop and the contractors have gone on to another site. They were due back on 17th January but the ground was now frozen solid and they could not mix mortar etc due to potential frost damage. This is the penalty of outside work at this time of the year. We are saving the bulbs moved from this area and they are being replanted in the soil of the area when it is finished.
We are grateful for the legacies that have been donated to the church for such work and we propose to acknowledge our thanks by suitably marking both project areas in due course.