Church defends proposals to build over graves at historic Liverpool church
A SENIOR member of the Diocese of Liverpool defended proposals to build over graves at the city’s only medieval church.
The plans for Grade I-listed All Saints at Childwall involve building a new extension or rotunda – containing toilets and meeting rooms – over a site which contains 87 graves.
The proposals were initially thrown out by city planners, but an appeal by the church against this decision was recently upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.
Objectors have now renewed their campaign against the scheme, on the grounds that it would spoil the appearance of the historic church and conservation area, and because it involves building over a burial plot which until recently was still in use.
The proposals will now have to go through a “faculty” process – essentially a Church of England court hearing where all the issues will be heard and debated again.
The hearing will be held before the Chancellor of the Diocese of Liverpool, Sir Mark Hedley, who is also a High Court judge.
The Archdeacon of Liverpool, Ricky Panter, said that while it was likely to be several months before the hearing was held, the “process” would be fair.
He said: “The court hearing will look at every issue around the building and the graveyard. It is a public hearing where the objectors will be able to put their case.
“We don’t know what the outcome will be – it is up to the Chancellor to decide.
“The church will do everything it can to respect families and relatives of those whose graves will be affected.”