PUBLIC NOTICE : COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
CLOSURE OF THE BURIAL GROUND
As a public authority the Council is required to implement government legislation, regulations and guidance in all respects, including that applying to the COVID-19 Cornonavirus Pandemic. To that end, it has been necessary for the Burial Authority to restrict public access to the cemetery, except for funerals, for the duration of the coronavirus emergency.
In further compliance with government requirements regarding limitations on public assemblies as applied to funerals, where the public are attending a funeral it must be limited to members of the immediate family of the deceased, and in any event no more than four persons. As applied to this requirement, “immediate family” is defined as a spouse or domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, and legal guardian, with the relationship of “step -” being included as applicable.
This has been a very difficult decision to make, and the Council apologises for any distress or inconvenience that these restrictions might cause. However, our primary concern must remain protecting the health and safety of the people attending, and working in, the cemetery, and helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to safeguard the lives of the community and, in particular, the NHS workers who treat and care for those suffering from serious coronavirus infections.
The situation is being kept under review but, for the immediate future, the Council has no option other than to restrict public access to the burial ground while the COVID-19 pandemic emergency persists, or until such time as it receives definitive instructions from the relevant authorities that it should proceed differently.
We are all in the midst of a crisis, and the Council hopes that it will have the support of the local community in taking these measures. Due to the gravity of the situation, it should be noted that any person or persons found to be breaching the above requirements will be reported to the Police, whereupon they may become liable to a fine or arrest.
The Long Melford Burial Ground is located beside Holy Trinity Church, at the top of The Green, Long Melford. The site is owned and maintained by the Parish Council.
A point of interest for those looking at headstones to the rear of the church is the very large number of wrought iron headstones (more than any other church in Europe that we know of). This is came about due to the local foundry allowing its workforce to make their own headstones at the company forge during their own time. This accounts for the differing artistic capabilities applied to, and the hugely varied look of, the headstones on display.