A COMMEMORATIVE stone has been laid in the ancient churchyard of St Marys Church in Burford, on the spot where ancient remains were re-buried in late 2019.

The remains were unavoidably disturbed during the installation of French Drains surrounding the Chancel of the church. They included the remains of two adults and a child, It is thought that they were possibly a small family, all wrapped in cloth and buried together in an unmarked grave.

No marked graves were disturbed during the work, and all the remains disturbed were probably buried centuries earlier.

The remains were re-buried carefully when the work was completed, with a short respectful ceremony led by Revd. Sian Harris.

Revd. Harris said “We had planned to lay the stone soon after the reburial but the pandemic stopped us doing that. We are delighted that the stone we have now laid will ensure that even though we have no names for these ancient Burford souls, they will not be forgotten. We are also delighted that the stone was sponsored for us by two of the local businesses. Stone Mason Kevin Griffin, who made and engraved the stone for us, and local Funeral Director, Graham Caldicott, who shared in its cost.”

St Marys Church is in the process of renewing and adding new facilities to the church in order to make it more sustainable and useable but its surrounding community. The church will always be primarily a place of Christian worship, but with the upgraded heating system and drainage complete, and the planned addition of a composting toilet and small kitchen soon to take place, it is hoped that the church will offer a warm, friendly and creative space for other groups to use too.

Planning permission for the new loo has been granted and fundraising for this phase of the project will be launched very soon.