AN ACTION group which was set up after 180 headstones were toppled for health and safety reasons in a Chester churchyard is prepared to take court action.
Bereaved daughter Madeline Heather Jones was so shocked and upset her parents’ headstone had been laid flat in St James’s Churchyard in Christleton that she decided to set up an action group in a bid to get financial compensation to put right all the flattened headstones.
In November last year the parochial parish council (PCC) of St James’s Church ordered an inspection of stones in the churchyard in response to new health and safety laws. The inspectors say they are not allowed to leave any stones in an unsafe condition so that’s why 180 were taken down immediately.
Madeline calls the flattening of the headstones ‘vandalism’ and said: “We were all extremely upset by this. We have set up a small action group and we are considering our next steps.
“I have had my parents’ stone put back up by a stonemason, but all around it looks like a bomb has hit it.
“We are considering court action for compensation.”
The rector of St James’s church, the Rev Peter Lee, said he had no further comments to make on the situation.
At the time he issued an apology and said: “The parochial church council have a duty of care and are responsible for safety in the churchyard, so we thought that the best way to do this was to employ a professional firm to carry out a safety inspection.
“But we sincerely regret all the distress that has been caused as a result.”