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'We shall fight all the way to be buried next to beloved son'

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A couple have vowed to fight all the way to have a stranger's body removed from the grave they bought to be next to their dead son.

Rose and Charles Dickson have been left devastated after someone was buried in the plot next to their son, Stewart, at St Andrew's Church, in Thringstone.

Rose, 63, her daughter, Yvonne McIlwraith, and son, Charles, met with the Reverend Alan Burgess, vicar at the church, and the Venerable David Newman, the Archdeacon of Loughborough, to try to resolve the matter.

At the meeting on Thursday, the church leaders offered Rose and Charles, who live in Thringstone, the plot next to the one they had reserved.

The family has turned down this offer.

Rose said: "I don't mind what it takes or who we have to talk to, but that is our grave. I am sorry, but the other body has to be moved. We cannot see any other way out of this situation.

"I have been separated from my son in life, so I bought this plot two years ago so I don't have to be separated from him in death."

Stewart died in 2011, aged 27.

"I feel terrible for the other family who have had their loved one buried in the wrong grave, but it is not our fault," said Rose.

"We paid £101 and specified the double grave plot we wanted – the one next to Stewart. That is the grave we wanted then and is still the one we want. I am sorry, but the body has to be moved out."

The Archdeacon has admitted a mistake was made and has apologised to both families.

He said: "The other family involved have said they do not want the body of their loved one moved. We shall continue to talk to both families in a bid to find a solution to this issue."

Rev Burgess also apologised for the mix-up.

He said: "This is an understandably distressing situation for all concerned.

"On behalf of myself and the local church, I apologise unreservedly to the two families who have been affected by what has happened.

"The church is here to bring hope and comfort at a time of bereavement and the last thing any of us would ever want to do is to cause upset to bereaved families.

"It arose out of a mistake made during an extremely busy period for burials in St Andrew's churchyard.

"It is an unprecedented situation and completely untypical of the standard of care for which so many have been thankful over many years."

If a solution is not found, the matter could be referred to the Chancellor of the Diocese, who would make a decision.

Liz Hudson, director of communications at the Diocese of Leicester, said if a body was to be moved it would involve an exhumation and reburial licence.

'We shall fight all the way to be buried next to beloved son'


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