Melton Old Church is a Grade II* medieval village church, declared redundant in 1977. The Melton Old Church Society was formed in December 1980 to preserve the building and its history for future generations. The church was purchased in 1982 by the Society and is held, in the person of its trustees, in perpetuity. The Society is a single church trust and has no backing either from statutory bodies or other trusts. It is run by a voluntary committee. The Society collects subscriptions and organises events to raise funds throughout the year. The committee tries to vary the programme of events to attract a wide range of audiences. Further information can be found on the Melton Old Church Society website.
Burials, ashes and maintenance of the Churchyard
The Melton Churchyard is closed to burials except where plots were reserved prior to closure. Ashes of those who lived in or had close connections with Melton may be interred in the Churchyard. All enquiries about interment should, in the first instance, be discussed with a funeral director. The Churchyard being a ‘closed’ churchyard is maintained by East Suffolk District Council.
Further information about East Suffolk District Council’s management of closed churchyards can be found on the East Suffolk Council website.
The grass cutting and maintenance schedule can be found in East Suffolk’s Environmental Policy for cemeteries and churchyards. Although it may appear that the churchyard is neglected and unmaintained, it is an area of biodiversity so mowing of the grass is limited – see extract below:-
Biodiversity and Grass Cutting
The biodiversity of a closed churchyard will actively be encouraged and is the default standard for the maintenance schedule. East Suffolk Council has a policy of no-spraying within closed churchyards and cemetery boundaries (unless as a final resort to remove invasive species such as Japanese Knot Weed). Careful management of all or part of the churchyard to favour these wildflowers, offers a unique opportunity to safeguard this valuable habitat in a place where it can be enjoyed by parishioners and visitors alike.
In order to maintain a ‘cared for’ appearance, it is important to keep grass short adjacent to the main paths and to allow access to regularly attended graves. Cutting paths through the longer grass areas, and carefully defining their edges by regularly mown grass, shows that the ‘wildlife areas’ are part of a plan and allows visitors to appreciate them easily. If there is space, leaving some areas uncut throughout the year
is beneficial. Seed heads are a food source for birds and many invertebrates overwinter in long grass.
For closed churchyards and identified biodiversity areas within cemeteries, grass cutting will be carried out on the basis of 1 cut per year in the autumn where areas are set aside for the growth of wildflowers to encourage biodiversity. Clippings will be left in situ. Another cut may be carried out in the spring depending on weather conditions and re-growth rates. Grass clippings will not cause any damage and visitors are
welcome to wipe off their memorials if they wish to.
For active areas within cemeteries, grass cutting will be carried out a minimum of 4 cuts per annum. For formal paths and desire lines, a minimum of 4 cuts per annum will take place. This will cover a strip of 1 metre each side of a formal path. All major pathways and entrances are kept clear of growth throughout the year.
As Melton Parish Council is not responsible for the Church or the Churchyard please do not contact the Parish Council if you have any concerns or enquiries. East Suffolk District Council can be contacted by phoning 03300 166111 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org