Some time ago, we were approached by the Parish Council and the village School, to ask if we would put a path through our churchyard to allow children and parents an alternative way in to the school.
If you are involved in the school run at Hertford Heath, you will know how difficult and dangerous it is, negotiating narrow pavements, lack of parking, and only one way in and out of the school. So to be able to get in round the back would make life a lot easier for hard pressed parents. There would also be a spin off advantage for users of the churchyard: a hard and dry path along the length of the churchyard, making access much easier and less muddy in winter.
So what’s the problem? Simply this – there is no way of putting a path through that avoids crossing a grave. No way at all. We have carefully examined various different routes, and chosen the one that seems easiest and best. It does mean crossing two, possibly three unmarked graves.
There are other issues – allowing more people through the churchyard increases the risk that someone will harm themselves on gravestones, or that damage will be done to graves. On the other hand, it could be argued that it makes for a safer environment – the more people are travelling through, the less likely is that anyone will be lurking in there, up to no good.
I have to say, in my 9 years here, I know of no one who has suffered an accidental injury in the churchyard, and the amount of litter that might indicate some kind of “lurking” is very very small indeed.
Nevertheless, we would like to know your views. This is just an informal consultation – if we decide to go ahead with the plan, we will consult more formally. For now, can we invite you to take a look at the route we are proposing, and let us know what you think. There is a plan on display in church, and we have marked the route of the path on the ground in the churchyard.
There’s a comments box available in church, you are welcome to email your comments, or use Facebook or Twitter to get in touch if that suits you.
The darkened area shows where the path would cross over graves.