Mystery after church memorial plaques to loved ones removed without warning
PUBLISHED: 05:30 17 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:18 17 February 2019
Mystery remains over the removal of memorial plaques from a church flower bed after a man discovered his mother's tribute missing.
St Mary the Virgin Church, in Lawford, on the Suffolk/Essex border, has a flowerbed below which loved one’s ashes can be buried and plaques placed above them in their memory.
However, Dave Marks discovered that the plaque left for his mother, which is believed had been in place for the last 19 years, was not there when his father went to place flowers for her - and no one had informed the family this would change.
Mr Marks, 43, from Brantham, initially took to social media to voice his upset about the situation before Reverend Simon Heron, from the church, spoke to him to resolve the issue.
Rev Heron understood that seeing a loved ones memorial moved or removed without prior knowledge would be very distressing but is currently at a loss as to the reason the plaques were moved in the first place.
“Churchyards are inherently a very emotive place and I can appreciate it would have been very distressing to see the plaque of their wife and mother missing.
“I can say that I do not know why they were moved or who Mr Marks’ father spoke to when he visited the grounds, but it’s not my place to stop anyone placing markers for their relatives.”
Mr Marks thanked Rev Heron for being so helpful and agreeing to re-instate his mother’s plaque to its rightful place.
He reported that his father was shown the plaque, along with others that were removed from the flowerbed, being stored in a shed.
It was apparently the plan that the plaques would be moved to another spot on the other side of the churchyard, but the ashes would remain where they were.
Mr Marks said: “We had not visited the church for the last couple of years, so it could have been changed any time between then and now - we just don’t know.
“I couldn’t stand the idea my mum’s ashes were buried in one place and that plaque was on the other side of the yard, it didn’t need to move.”
Lawford’s church is an open church with an open churchyard, with visitor access every day.
The church is continuing to investigate when and why the plaques were removed.