Syston St Peter & St Paul Church Yard

As some of you may know, in 2015 Syston Town Council became legally responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the closed Churchyard of St Peter & St Paul church – the building and grounds remain in the ownership of the Diocese and the Parochial Church Council (PCC). This means that council funds will be put aside to ensure that the grounds are maintained in a safe and tidy manner.
As the responsibility for maintaining the churchyard was never handed over when it was closed for burials in 1879, the area became very unkempt and not particularly welcoming for visitors to the church; in some cases, major trees were in danger of becoming a hazard. The grass is cut by council groundstaff.
As part of its responsibility to ensure that council owned facilities in the town remain attractive and in good order, the council has agreed to commence a long term project to improve and enhance the churchyard in close cooperation with the PCC. The first stage of this has been completed with the clearing of some shrubs and scrub wood; trees have been subject to a Tree Survey which resulted in the removal of many low and dead branches from major trees. The second stage is now nearing completion with the whole area being subject to the removal of as much dead matter, debris and litter as can reasonably done.
Further enhancements are planned which include the designation of one section as a Wild Flower area; sowing of more grass seed, the planting of attractive perennial shrubs and flowers, the refurbishment of certain railings and gates as well as the potential for improved lighting to the path and floodlighting of the tower. We are also installing notices to remind dog owners / walkers not to allow their dogs to run free and foul the grounds.
In time it is hoped that the churchyard will be as attractive and welcoming to visitors (many of whom come from out of town for weddings, Christenings and other services) as the cemetery on Barkby Road.
Of course, much of this work does not come cheap. The town council in conjunction with the PCC are therefore looking to gain the support of sponsors for some of this work as well as looking to obtain grants. To that end, both organisations would be very pleased to hear from anyone who would be interested in assisting with this project in any way – maybe a local garden nursery might like to offer advice on the best type of flowers and shrubs and maybe donate some samples; or a local lighting company may wish to assist with the lighting project.
If you or anyone you know might like to become involved, please contact the council on 0116 260 7150 or visit the website www.systontc,org.uk.
Cllr P. Knight