A Statement about the Eccleston War Memorial

A Statement about the Eccleston War Memorial

# News
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

"For nearly 100 years St Mary’s churchyard has provided a beautiful and peaceful setting for those who want to come and remember the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in time of war. 

“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

The Venerable Mark Ireland, Archdeacon of Blackburn, said today: "We are aware the local parish council has discussed moving the war memorial in the village of Eccleston twice and has carried out consultation in the village.

“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.”



Stuart Jamieson
Strongly support leaving the memorial on its present site.
Karl J Mayor
A considered and appropriate response to the debate. A respectful and fitting conclusion to leave the memorial in place.
Graham Hailwood
The War Memorial stands where the Families and friends of the men who gave there lives wished it to be. I strongly believe that is where it should stay.
patricia hailwood
The memorial has stood on this site for almost 100 years and I believe it should remain there.
Anne Taylor
It would be inappropriate to move the War Memorial from it's home in the churchyard. It's been there for nearly 100 years and that's where it should stay.
V A Pearson
Why not build a new memorial in the village centre if the strength of feeling is sufficient, which I doubt. The cost and potential damage to the memorial and the Church grounds has been significantly underestimated. The lack of respect being shown to the servicemen and their families is appalling. Leave it where it is .
Phillip monks
I fully support the response to the issue of removing the war memorial. It's perfect in its present location and is easily accessible to everyone.
I’m so pleased that the memorial will stay in the church were it belongs
Hannah gillett
I am really pleased that the memorial is staying where it belongs and leave the brave soldiers and there families memories to rest in peace and if the parish council feels like they want one in the village the build a new one
Chris Cote
I strongly support leaving the memorial where it is in its current location. It makes no sense to attempt to move it given the risk of damage and cost. Given the current economic climate and cutbacks to vital services it is ridiculous when it is already in a perfect location.
Tracey Betts
Is it right to be able to challenge decisions made, for example 100 years ago? Yes I think so if a person feels or thinks that there is a valid reason for doing so. But what is the reason on this occasion?

Currently the memorial is in a quiet, freely accessible place where all who wish to, can go and listen to God (if you believe) be reflective, sit quietly etc.. Moving the memorial to the middle of the bustling village would take that away from people. Equally there are so many issues within the village and I can think of better ways to spend £6k for example a part-time youth worker who can start to bridge the gap between young and old or perhaps use it to set up a volunteer group so that people who are in need in our village can ask for help and those with a bit of time can volunteer their expertise for a couple of hours a month. £6k could support the admin/ICT support, pay for the correct safeguarding, expenses for equipment, - that's a much better use of £6k in my opinion!
Moving the memorial to a less convenient site doesn't make sense. People are less likely to congregate in an area that doesn't offer peace and safety away from a main road location. I think it should remain within the church grounds.
Martin Betts
At a guess, in 1922 Eccleston was a small close-knit community facing up to the loss of family members and experiencing post-war economic hardship. The community at that time raised funds and it was their choice In good faith to site the memorial in the grounds of St Marys. Many of us are recent incomers to the village and whilst I am proud to live in Eccleston I'm not sure we have rights to relocate a historic memorial that was here long before us
Gill Jamieson
Why has a previously uncontested position for a memorial to the men who sacrificed their lives for peace and freedom, suddenly become a devisive argument in our village, causing ill feeling and confrontation. We owe it to those boys to respect their hard won battle and leave their memory in the place that was considered the appropriate setting for a war memorial.
A Hay
I think the War Memorial should remain in the safe and peaceful location of St Mary’s Church grounds. The costs incurred to relocate it would be better used elsewhere in the village.
The War Memorial should remain as the families of the soldiers wanted in the church grunds.
Jenny Grimes
I fully support many of the previous comments,and feel that the memorial should remain where it is in the churchyard.
Linda Fishwick
The men named on this war memorial fought for us and our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. It has stood in the same peaceful location for the last 96 years. Why would you want to move it, especially to a location which in my view is unsuitable. It is disrespectful to the memory of these local men and their families. Let it remain in the sanctuary of the church grounds.
Pam Ascroft
As others have said, we should respect the wishes of the people who funded the memorial to recognise the sacrifice made by their family and friends; it would be disrespectful in the extreme to the memory of all those who suffered such loss, to relocate the memorial from the site it has always occupied in the churchyard, to the spot where even the village Christmas tree and lights often do not survive more than a few days without being vandalised.
It is particularly ironic and sad that a memorial dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives so that we can live in peace should become a focus for conflict and disagreement.
Peter Mayor
I think the War Memorial should remain in the parish churchyard. This was the decision made in 1922 when close relatives of those fallen young men where obviously in agreement and I do not think that it is right for those with no or only a slight connection now to try to change this.

If it is considered necessary to make some mark of recognition to the fallen at the other end of the village then why not purchase one or more of the British 'Tommy' silhouettes part of the 'Here but not Here' campaign. This would be a cheaper and far less risky than moving an almost hundred year old monument.
Barry. Fisher
I agree with all the comments made and support that the memorial stays in the churchyard and not be moved
Louise McP
The war memorial should stay where it has been for the last nearly 100 years. It is a symbol of the sacrifice that men from Eccleston gave in the two world wars. It is located in a place of peace and should continue to stay where it is.
Liz Green
The memorial is situated in a beautiful , tranquil place, put there by the choice of the people of Eccleston, and there it should stay.
Caroline Kennerley
The present location of the memorial is perfect for people wanting to visit and seek a bit of peace and tranquillity. I see no benifit of moving it to a busy main road in an inconvenient spot.
Leave it where it is!
Sandra Lea
The war memorial should remain in the churchyard, Where it has been since the decision was made in 1922.
So the brave men who fought in the war can be remembered in a tranquil place.
Anne Worthington
I agree with all the comments and the reasons given and I am appalled that some people in Eccleston should wish to go against a decision made all those years ago just because they didn't know there was a War Memorial in Eccleston. They only need to ask. The Memorial should remain in its current position where anyone can visit and reflect on the sacrifice made by all those named on the memorial many years ago, and be thankful for our freedom today.
Doreen Fifoot
The War Memorial has been there for nearly 100 years. It would be upsetting if it was moved away from the peace and quiet of the Churchyard.
Clive Fifoot
On Remembrance Sundays, the Church is full. How can a congregation that size be accommodated on the Millennium Green? Also, with the trees on the site, the memorial will soon be covered with moss, bird droppings, etc. Who will look after it? I believe that the £6000 estimated removal cost would be better spent on a smaller memorial on the Millennium Green.
R Monks
I have heard the reasons put forward for relocating the War Memorial. I fully agree with the responses that it should remain in its current position, where it is treated with dignity and respect . Leave it in peace.
Jean Cheetham
I agree with all the above comments that the War Memorial should stay where it was originally placed
Laura Dixon
The war memorial has stood for nearly 100 years as a reminder of the men who lost their lives for us. I have lived in Eccleston for most of my life and have always known where the memorial is due to attending Remembrance services throughout the years. The churchyard is a reflective sanctuary, the perfect place to remember those who died. I would not like to see it moved. You are able to visit the memorial at any time in a peaceful environment, just as it should be.
Alun Jones
After all these years, it saddens me that some people are now causing discord in the village by proposing to move the War Memorial to a more undesirable location at the side of a busy road. How can a service of remembrance take place with all the disruption of noisy traffic? Where are people, especially the old and disabled to park their cars?
Let us respect the decision taken by those who lost their loved ones during the Great War by not disturbing the memorial - a place of tranquillity where people can still take on board the sacrifices of these brave servicemen during both World Wars.
Christine Smith
The War Memorial should stay where it is in the church yard. It is in a quiet and tranquil setting, the perfect place for each and everyone of us to remember those who lost their lives for us.
Eric James Smith
It has been there for nearly 100 years with no problem . I say leave it where it is and where it belongs in the picturesque setting next to the church.. What logical reasons can there be to move it, in my opinion , Non.
Anne Jones
Having read all the above comments, there is nothing more that I can add, other than I agree with everything that is being said. In other words there is no need whatsoever to disturb this memorial to the war dead. LEAVE IT IN IT'S TRANQUIL PLACE.
Alma Calf
The War Memorial is part of the ambience of the churchyard and is a landmark of the grounds. The ideal place for the War Memorial is in the grounds of the church, being the oldest part of the village.
Debra Jones
When a Christmas tree is placed on The Green , it is vandalized ; I doubt the youths responsible would have any reservations about doing the same to the War Memorial.
Sandra Forde
The War Memorial is in an ideal setting now, I can see no reason for it to be moved and agree with all the reasons given in previous comments as to why it shouldn't be moved to The Green.