Call for town's vicar to be ousted

By Roddy Ashworth and Ted JeoryA PENSIONER has called for a parish vicar to be ousted in the latest stage of a row concerning the future of a town's churchyard.

By Roddy Ashworth and Ted Jeory

A PENSIONER has called for a parish vicar to be ousted in the latest stage of a row concerning the future of a town's churchyard.

David Norfolk, 66, has insisted the Rev Richard Salenius should be removed from his position after he applied to the Home Office to close the graveyard at All Saints' Church in Brightlingsea.

Mr Norfolk - who was born and spent much of his life in Brightlingsea, but now lives in Colchester - claimed Mr Salenius had lost the respect of some people in the parish because of his decision.

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Mr Salenius has become embroiled in a dispute with the town council after he said there was no room in the churchyard for any more burials.

The council commissioned a specialist geophysical survey of the area and claimed there was still room for more graves.

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But Mr Salenius insisted there was no available space and said what vacant land there was left was needed for mourners and for vehicular access.

Mr Norfolk said he felt Mr Salenius' decision was “disgraceful” and added he would be leading a demonstration in the town against the vicar.

“There are 118 Norfolks buried in that graveyard. I think it is a terrible thing that one man should stand up against the elected councillors. A lot of the old boys in Brightlingsea are very upset about it. Many were in the services,” he added.

“I was utterly astonished when the Rev Salenius said we should not get emotional about it. In my view there is nothing more emotional than losing a loved one or preparing for death itself.”

However, Mr Salenius said last night: “I suggest Mr Norfolk go and talk to people in the Royal British Legion about how servicemen respect the work that I do as their chaplain.

“That's the problem of someone who lives in Colchester talking about things in Brightlingsea. I don't think he's well informed - if he were, he'd know that many people do not want a demonstration.

“They may disagree with me, but they do know a personal vendetta is not the way to go about things.”

He added: “If Mr Norfolk wishes to be cremated, he can be have his ashes interred with the other Norfolks in the graveyard - that's entirely his right.”

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