Couple loses fight to switch baby’s grave
Date published: 30 January 2013
A Church of England judge has turned down the plea of a distraught Chadderton couple who want to move their daughter’s remains to a more dignified resting place.
George and Patricia Roberts sought special permission to have their daughter Beverley exhumed from Middleton New Cemetery because of its declining state. The couple say the cemetery in which their baby daughter was buried half a century ago has deteriorated and that graves now bear model pubs, football shirts and scarves.
Geoffrey Tattersall QC, Chancellor of the Manchester Diocese, ruled the remains must stay put.
Chancellor Tattersall expressed regret in his ruling for the distress it ould cause, but said the circumstances didn’t justify making an exception to the principle that a Christian burial is final.
Beverley died aged two months and was buried in 1960.
Her parents say there has been a gradual decline in the graveyard over the years and they are unhappy with its condition. They claimed models of pubs, football shirts and scarves have been left on graves there, which they believe is inappropriate.
The couple have also moved to Chadderton and wanted to move her to nearby St Matthew and St Lukes.
The judge said: “While I readily understand that what seems to motivate this application, I don’t believe the condition of the cemetery could justify this application.”
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