A SPECIAL trust has been set up to safeguard the long-term future of four Droitwich churchyards for generations to come.
The Langrick Trust will collect funds for the burial grounds at St Marys, St Augustines, St Nicholas and St Peters.
Separate from the Parochial Church Council (PCC) which maintains the church buildings its aim will be to ensure the churchyards are the best they can possibly be for visitors and families of those buried in them.
The trust has been launched by Rev Nigel Byard, Kevin Hyett who maintains St Marys Churchyard and author and historian Paul Jones.
The trio are now urging people to come forward and volunteer to be on the trust on maintenance parties to keep the grounds looking pristine, fund-raisers or behind the scenes in administrative jobs.
They also want to hear from anyone who has any ideas they feel will improve the churchyards. Mr Hyett makes benches out of wooden pallets and has appealed to people with ones they do not need to also get in touch.
There will also be designated areas to encourage wildlife, including bees and butterflies.
As well as the general upkeep the trust’s funding will also provide interest-free loans for headstones for people who cannot afford them in one payment.
Two years ago St Marys fell into a state of disrepair leading to countless complaints from residents and families of those buried there.
Since then it has been restored and is nearly back to its best.
Mr Hyett said: “Rev Byard would say he is 90 per cent happy with it, I’m more like 60 per cent and I will continue until it is 100 per cent restored.
“When people are sleeping in the churchyards they have to be perfect.”
The trust is named after Sapper Richard Langrick, a First World War soldier in the Royal Engineers.
After serving in Belgium and France he was invalided and ended up in Highfield House, next to St Marys.
He died in November 1914 and was buried in the churchyard.
Noticeboards in the churchyards will provide more details about the Langrick Trust and anyone wanting to volunteer for the organisation can call Rev Nigel Byard on 01905 778265, Kevin Hyett 07512 063937 or by writing to the Droitwich Parish Office at St Andrews Church.