Report for APCM (for the year 2013) from St Mary's Churchyard and Heritage Committee
Download the Churchyard Development Master Plan for your personal perusal and information. (PDF 1.9MB)
Inside the Church, the Church Recording led by Liz Dancey of NADFAS continues. The Team of voluntary Recorders are researching and documenting memorials, metalwork, stonework, woodwork, textiles, paintings, libraries, windows and other items. This should be completed later in 2014.
Finalising the Masterplan / Planning and Faculty applications
The largest project the Committee continues to be involved with is the St Mary’s Churchyard Heritage, Access and Conservation Scheme (the ‘Scheme’).
In March 2013 the Committee held a series of Public Consultation meetings to roll out the final Masterplan – these were attended by a cross section of our local community, the DAC and members of the congregation. Feedback from the Consultation was 100% positive.
The Committee also met separately throughout the year with Birmingham City Council Planning, Conservation, Archaeological, Tree Conservation and Bereavement Services Departments as well as with the DAC to agree and finalise the Masterplan. Our thanks once again to Richard Waddell at Moore Environment who was able to interpret and update the suggested changes on the Masterplan with his usual efficiency. The PCC approved the final Masterplan for Faculty, Planning and Funding application purposes on 11 November 2013.
The Faculty for the Scheme was submitted and granted in November 2013 and the Committee was delighted with the encouraging outcome and positive feedback from the DAC who commended the Vicar and the Committee for how they have handled the planning process and communicated with the DAC.
The Planning Application was made in December and was Approved on 31 January 2014 subject to conditions with regards to materials, archaeological supervision and design of railings, gates and walls. A further Planning Application will need to be submitted later in 2014 in relation to the signage proposed as part of the Scheme.
Provisional cost estimates for the Scheme are £188,000 inc VAT. The Committee is currently reviewing the various options with regards to the funding and preparing a grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Works in the Churchyard
This year we have been delighted at the efforts of the Probation Service’s Community Payback, who attend on site on a monthly basis, they have worked tirelessly to combat the years of neglect at the rear of the Church clearing back overgrown vegetation to the boundaries - for the first time in years the size of the site can really be appreciated!
Two trees were kindly donated and planted by Arthur Dudleston’s family to complete the avenue of trees from the West gate to the proposed ‘rectangle’.
The Committee has overseen two ‘community days’ working with children from Queensbridge School and volunteers from the Department of Work and Pensions in conjunction with Moseley in Bloom. The volunteers from the Department of Work and Pensions helped members of the Committee build the Church’s first composting area for green waste.
Late in 2013 BCC undertook major tree works in the Churchyard which included pollarding, pruning, tree and stump removal where necessary.
The Committee was saddened at the death of Anne Bold in 2013. Anne had a keen interest in the heritage of St Mary’s and was able to share her knowledge by assisting with the research being undertaken by NADFAS, as part of their Church Recording, and in the work of our Committee. One of her lasting legacies was to type up the Burial Register from handwritten records – all 9605 entries – dating from 1762 to 1991! God bless you Anne.
St Mary’s Churchyard and Heritage Committee – Peter Jupe, Rob Brown, Carolyn O’Toole, Becky Greenhill, Mick Perrier, Ray Cocks, David Masters, Will Baldwin, and Harry Rawlings.