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'Wrong grave' couple reject church bid to solve dispute


The issue of whether a body buried in the wrong grave should be moved is to be referred to the Diocese of Leicester's top legal expert.

The Diocesan Chancellor, Mark Blackett-Ord, who is based in London, will make a ruling on whether a body buried in the wrong plot at St Andrew's churchyard, in Thringstone, should be moved.

Rose and Charles Dickson were devastated after discovering someone had been buried in the grave they had bought to be next to their dead son.

Rose, 63, and Charles, 64, bought the grave next to their son, Stewart, who was buried there after he died, aged 27, in 2011.

The couple, of Thringstone, met the Archdeacon of Loughborough, the Venerable David Newman, and the Rev Alan Burgess, vicar at St Andrew's, to try to find a solution.

Mrs Rose and her daughter, Yvonne McIlwraith, 42, of Hugglescote, were offered the plot next-but-one to Stewart's.

Ms McIlwriath said: "We have said all along the only plot acceptable is the one next to my brother. It is a horrendous mistake by the church and they have to abide by our wishes.

"We feel for the other family but we have no option but to take our stance."

Mrs Dickson said: "I have had my son taken from me in life, I don't want to be separated from him again in death."

The Archdeacon has referred the matter to the Chancellor.

Both he and the vicar have apologised to the family.

The Rev Burgess said: "This is an understandably distressing situation for everyone concerned.

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

Ms McIlwraith said her family this week received a letter from the Archdeacon offering two plots – one free of charge – to try to resolve the issue.

She said: "Our position remains the same. We want the body removed."

Liz Hudson, director of communications at the Diocese of Leicester, said the matter was to be referred to the Diocesan Chancellor for a ruling.

She said: "We have tried to find a solution that satisfies both families but have been unable to. We have no choice but to refer the matter to the Chancellor and await his decision, which could take some time."

Ms Hudson said that if a body was to be moved it would involve an exhumation licence and a reburial licence. Should an appeal against any decision made by the Chancellor be requested, it would be to the Court of the Arches.

'Wrong grave' couple reject church bid  to solve dispute

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