Memorial Safety Testing at Closed Churchyards

Released on 5 April 2022

South Staffordshire council news

Tuesday 5th April 2022

Notice is hereby given that the memorials and gravestones in the following churchyards are due to be inspected for stability by South Staffordshire Council.

  • St. Benedict Biscop Church, Wombourne
  • St. Peter's Church, Kinver
  • St. John's Church, Swindon
  • St. Paul's Church, Coven

The churchyards were officially closed under section 1 of the Burial Act 1853 and was subsequently handed over to this Council. South Staffordshire Council is responsible for the maintenance of the churchyards. The churches remain under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Lichfield.

The Council has a responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure that all reasonable practical measures are taken with regard to the stability of the memorials and gravestones in the churchyards. Qualified contractors will be carrying out the testing on behalf of the Council.

The testing is due start at St. Benedict Biscop Church in Wombourne from Tuesday 3rd May 2022. Testing at St. Peter's Church in Kinver, St. Paul's Church in Coven and St. John's Church in Swindon will start from week commencing Monday 16th May 2022.

During the testing please keep to the paths wherever possible and ensure that children are supervised at all times.

Where a memorial is found to be unstable, temporary stabilisation works may be carried out. In extreme cases where a memorial is found to be imminently dangerous, the stone may have to be laid down flat. In these instances a notice will be placed on the memorial with more information.

There is more information, including 'Frequently Asked Questions', on our Memorials webpage and our Closed Churchyards webpage.

Please contact Bereavement Services on 01902 696000 or e-mail if you have any queries.

Contact details

For further details contact
South Staffordshire District Council
Council Offices,
Wolverhampton Road,
South Staffordshire,

Tel: 01902 696000

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