Service users working on Community Payback with West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company are helping clean-up of an overgrown graveyard at a Baildon church.
They have supported local people at St John’s Parish Church, in Hallcliffe, to clean the graveyard which has become overgrown with ivy and bramble saplings to restore the site, as big as two football pitches, back to its former glory.
The graveyard has been overgrown since it was de-commissioned in 1951. Although there have been some cremations, the last burial was conducted there in the 1960s. The site also features the graves of four soldiers who fell during the Second World War.
Troops from the Yorkshire Regiment 269 Battery, based in Leeds, also took part joined by members of Baildon in Bloom and Baildon Town Council.
Mrs Radcliffe is hoping the graveyard clean-up will help create a place where people can visit their loved ones safely. She says the graves at the site date back to around 1800.
Mrs Radcliffe said: “It looks like something from Hammer House of Horror at the moment. I became church warden in April, and I didn’t know it was there because it was so overgrown. We want to be able to let people down there in safety and make it accessible.
“It is a key part of the heritage of the town. There are graves down there for everybody to see, but people can’t see them at the moment. It is a lovely place and it is like being in a little wood, so it could be a nice place where people want to go.”