Last rites ahead for Whaplode chapel after apathy of public

Spalding funeral directors Sue and Mark Forth would prefer to keep Whaplode Cemetery Chapel intact.  Photo supplied.
Spalding funeral directors Sue and Mark Forth would prefer to keep Whaplode Cemetery Chapel intact. Photo supplied.
  • Memorial garden will be a ‘credit to Whaplode’
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Plans to replace Whaplode Cemetery Chapel with a memorial garden are to go ahead based on a lack of public opposition.

Whaplode Parish Council members are free to ask for quotes from landscapers to create the memorial garden as part of separate plans to extend the cemetery and improve its surroundings.

The project was first revealed by our sister newspaper, the Spalding Guardian, last August when Coun Paul Stafford said: “We have an idea to take down the old chapel and create a nice place where people can sit and reflect.”

But Spalding funeral directors Mark and Sue Forth, whose family members are buried at Whaplode Cemetery, said: “We would prefer the chapel to stay where it is because it’s the centre of the cemetery.

“The cemetery is in an atrocious state, the roads leading up to it are full of potholes and the upkeep of it is terrible.

“What’s the point of having a garden of remembrance when people who go to look for their loved ones while sit next to the graveside, not in a memorial garden?

What’s the point of having a garden of remembrance when people who go to look for their loved ones while sit next to the graveside, not in a memorial garden?

Spalding funeral directors Mark and Sue Forth

“But Whaplode has changed over the years and a lot of people have come into the village who have no connection with the cemetery.”

Parish councillors discussed the way forward for the cemetery at a meeting on Wednesday when it was confirmed that the cost of repairing the chapel would have been at least £20,000

Coun Morris Stancer, Chairman of Whaplode Parish Council, said: “Anybody who realises what it would cost to get the chapel back in a reusable state would quickly realise where we’re coming from.

“I’m sure that when we get the cemetery tidy and when we’ve finished with the creation of the memorial garden, people will appreciate it and it will be a credit to us.”