OWNERS of dilapidated gravestones in a Slimbridge churchyard are urged to contact the council.

Slimbridge Parish Council is attempting to trace the owners of a number of memorials that have fallen into disrepair at St John’s Church.

The parish council took over ownership of the closed churchyard in April, after the St Johns Parochial Church Council could no longer afford the maintenance.

Part of the council’s new responsibilities is to carry out health and safety checks on the memorials and gravestones and a stonemason has identified 38 that require work to either repair or make them safe.

Following discussions at parish council meetings earlier in the year, notices were placed on the relevant gravestones, explaining they were in need of attention.

Relatives were given three months to get in contact to arrange the upkeep of the memorial. Although some have already come forward, many are yet to do so and now there are just two weeks left.

Council clerk Helen Dunn will be attending a memorial stone management course in September, after which discussions will be had on how to ‘make safe’ the remaining stones that have not received any contact from family members.

Methods used to make the stones safe could include temporary supports or the stones being laid down flat.

“Some of the memorial stones are listed and further guidance will be sought on these,” Helen added.

Call 07943 894637 or email clerk@slimbridge-pc.gov.uk