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Donington website dedicated to homecoming of Matthew Flinders

A new website has gone live to provide updates on the homecoming of Lincolnshire hero Matthew Flinders.

The remains of the man who mapped the coast of Australia and who gave the continent its name were found earlier this year in London by archaeologists working on the HS2 project.

In October HS2 and Church authorities agreed Matthew could be reburied inside the church in his home village - Donington - and that is likely to happen in the second half of next year.

Jane Pearson, from the Matthew Flinders Bring Him Home group
Jane Pearson, from the Matthew Flinders Bring Him Home group

The Matthew Flinders Bring Him Home (MFBHH) group are selling calendars to help fund the website, matthewflinders.net

Flinders will also be in the national domain on Thursday (November 28) when BBC Radio 4 repeat a 2005 broadcast, My Love Must Wait, based on the letters of Matthew and his wife, Ann. The programme will be broadcast at 11.15am and again at 9.15pm.

Jane Pearson founded the MFBHH group, which has widespread support in the village and campaigned alongside Matthew’s direct descendants for him to be reinterred in Donington.

Donington hero Matthew Flinders
Donington hero Matthew Flinders

Jane is also parochial church council treasurer for St Mary and the Holy Rood and says Matthew’s reburial will cost the Donington church a “four figure sum” because so many preparations must be made.

The plan is for Matthew to be reinterred beneath the north aisle, close to the stained glass window that is dedicated to him.

Preparations include a professional archaeoliogical survey of the proposed burial spot before a church permission - known as a faculty - can be granted.

Donington church is working with the family and a stonemason to design an appropriate ledger stone - the name given to a gravestone that is flat to the ground.

Jane said: “It will be quite large, 6ft by 3ft, and go flush to the floor. We are currently looking into a design and talking to a stonemason - at all stages we are talking to the family because they absolutely have to have a say."

On the website, the group is asking for donations to Donington church to ensure "Matthew has the best permanent resting place that we can achieve."

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