A Statement about the Eccleston War Memorial
Published by Fr Andrew Brown on Wednesday, 15 August 2018 08:30
Today, following press interest in the discussions of Eccleston Parish Council regarding the location of war memorial, the parish and diocese have issued the following statements to the Lancashire Evening Post and the Chorley Guardian.
From Revd Andrew Brown
“The church is, and always has been, at the heart of the Eccleston community and we work together with other denominations to ensure this.
“For example, the local Methodist Church Minister will speak at the Civic Service planned for Remembrance Sunday this year while the local Roman Catholic church has contributed to the new ‘There, But Not There’ silhouettes – an art installation now at St Mary’s in advance of the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 later this year.
“It has been the privilege of St Mary’s to be the custodian of the memorial for nearly a century, after the decision was taken in 1922 to site it at the church by the people of Eccleston who raised funds for the memorial by public subscription.
“Two debates at the local parish council have now concluded with a view that there should be no change to the current location; so the community has expressed a clear opinion and their view has been considered.
“I hope people on both sides of the debate can now move on; we have so many more current issues within our community that require attention with a concerted and unified approach.”
From Archdeacon Mark
“On both occasions they discussed the matter they were not minded to support the idea.
"Notwithstanding these discussions, the memorial is sited in the churchyard and ultimately any decision about its future rests with the church, in conjunction with the Diocese, not the parish council.
"St Mary's PCC (the church’s ruling body) also followed appropriate Diocesan procedure to get a view from the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) - the body which advises the Diocesan Registrar about proposed changes to churches and their environs.
"The DAC meeting in March 2018 considered the suggestion and agreed Eccleston War Memorial should remain in the churchyard.
"St Mary's is a fitting location and one that I would be very hesitant to consider changing, especially in light of the wishes of those who erected the memorial in 1922.
“Remember too that a churchyard is also a place of hope and comfort for those who grieve; reminding us that there is hope of life beyond death through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”