A son who looks after his mother’s grave site has been left “disgusted” after a threatening notice was taped to her gravestone.
Terry Barlow from Ossett tends to the plot of his mother, Sandra, at Christ Church Churchyard on Manor Road, and last summer added small edging stones and infill chippings.
But he was horrified to recently find the laminated note from Christ Church, in South Ossett, taped to the pristine headstone ordering that the ‘illegally-installed’ work be removed.
The family were so worried over action being taken that they removed the alterations.
Sandra, 50, died nearly seven years ago, and was well known in the area.
But Terry, 29, said: “It’s the fact that they stuck the notice on with gaffer tape, it’s so disrespectful. It’s really upset me. I’m disgusted.
“Everyone said the grave looked better. The graveyard isn’t very well kept anyway, it’s overgrown, but this was neat and tidy. I did this nine months ago, why are they doing this now?
“I come down here regularly to look after it, it’s the only thing I’ve got left of my mum.”
The church would not comment whether they felt the move was disrespectful, but a statement from the Diocese of Leeds read: “We have the greatest sympathy for Mrs Barlow’s family and have explained the situation to help them understand that as a churchyard is a consecrated space this status must be recognised and not least in the type of headstone and any surrounds.
“We informed the family that they could apply to make the changes they wished but they chose not to do so. We then took steps to restore the grave and made the family aware of this by fastening the public notice to the headstone.”