Protests continue against church which removed graveside mementoes

Furious families outside Thornhill Parish Church.
Furious families outside Thornhill Parish Church.

A row about graveside memorials rumbled on as protestors staged a demonstration outside a church.

Families were outraged after items were removed from gravestones at Thornhill Parish Church, under the orders of the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

People gathered at the church last Thursday to put back precious mementoes that had been stuffed into plastic bags by church wardens. A small silent protest was also held on Sunday to protest against the move. Bishop of Pontefract Tony Robison attended to speak to families.

Resident Shaun Maddox, who organised the protest, left a voicemail for the Rector of Thornhill, the Rev Sue Clarke, warning her to stay away from the churchyard as emotions were running high. Mr Maddox was arrested on suspicion of sending a ‘malicious communication’, but was released without charge. Another protest is planned for this Sunday.

Meanwhile, other residents have said they appreciated the tidy up effort. Anne Robinson, of Henley Avenue, Thornhill, said: “I was really impressed by how neat and tidy the area looked.” Her husband was buried in the cremated remains area of the church five years ago.

• Letters Extra: Page 45.