NEW gates are the centrepiece of extensive renovations at a village cemetery.
The custom-designed gates at St Mary Magdalene Church’s East End Cemetery in Trimdon Village were blessed by the Reverend Michael Gobbett during a service of dedication attended by more than 50 local residents and dignitaries, including Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson.
The project was funded by grants from Durham County Councillors for Trimdon and Thornley Peter Brookes and Lucy Hovvels’s Neighbourhood Budget, St Mary Magdalene Church, East Durham Rural Corridor Area Action Partnership and Trimdon Parish Council.
Coun Brookes spoke of his delight at the project’s success, saying: “The new cemetery gates are a real focal point for Trimdon and their simple, tasteful design is a fitting entrance to such a treasured local amenity.”
The cemetery was consecrated in the 1820s, but burials ended in the 1960s.
It was rededicated in 1991 for the internment of cremated remains and has been maintained by volunteers from the church maintenance team ever since.
The recent renovations have seen refurbishment of the exterior wall, new paving, clearance of overgrown areas and the securing of damaged and tilting monuments.
The majority of the project was done by volunteers.
Church Councillor Adam Luke, 19, said: “It is important to thank each and every volunteer who has worked to totally transform this cemetery in recent weeks.
“Their work will be appreciated by many local families who use this cemetery for remembrance and reflection.”