Shropshire Star

'Families were upset by the sad state of our local cemetery - so we teamed up to tidy up ourselves'

Volunteers have come together to tidy up a churchyard after the state of its graveyard came under fire from mourning families.

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After the state of the churchyard at St Matthew's Church in Donnington, Telford attracted criticism on social media, a band of volunteers have spent the week helping out.

Online posts on a Donnington community group complained of waist-high grass, with some disgruntled residents labelling it "so sad", "disgusting" and "just awful".

But with no dedicated churchyard maintenance team, no equipment, no additional funding from the Church of England and a spell of wet and sunny weather, the grass had become too much for the small team that run the church to handle. In addition, the church, which was built in 1843, has been without a vicar for around two years.

St Matthew's Church

Church warden Julie Gardner said: "Distress was the last thing we wanted to cause anyone, but we have no-one to turn to.

"We do have a small team of dedicated volunteers that do what they can. Besides a visit from the community payback team once a month we don't have other organisations involved. With the current weather conditions, the grass has grown far quicker than we can keep it under control."

Amid the criticism, Julie was approached by 'Telford's Batman', Donnington Parish Councillor Jay Gough. After rallying the troops, Jay and a band of around 15 volunteers got to work.