Church leaders in Sutton Bridge are trying to stamp out thefts and vandalism in St Matthew’s churchyard – by asking families to remove some items left on loved-ones’ graves.
Vicar, the Rev David Oxtoby, said: “Keeping out those within the community who don’t respect others’ grave spaces is always going to be difficult.
“The PCC (parochial church council) will be writing to some families and asking them to please remove items that don’t conform to churchyard regulations – therefore removing the opportunity for theft and also making the whole churchyard more in keeping with its surroundings.”
The church may also step up surveillance to keep thefts and vandalism in check.
Mr Oxtoby said: “The church does have CCTV inside so one possibility is for an extra camera to be located outside at the rear of the church.”
He said some villagers have complained to him about grave spaces that they claim are “spoiling the overall look of the whole churchyard”.
Mr Oxtoby said: “I’m aware that there have been a few incidents where items have been taken from grave spaces and not been returned, such as lanterns.
“The PCC have decided to review the whole churchyard against churchyard regulations to ensure our churchyard is a place of peace and beauty for the current and also future generations.”