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'It's not litter' - Mother shocked after mementoes removed from daughter's grave

PUBLISHED: 12:56 28 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:56 28 March 2019

Winterton Church.

Winterton Church.

Archant

A mother has described her shock after mementoes and photographs were removed from her daughter’s grave in a cemetery in a Norfolk village - and residents had not been told of the clean-up.

Louise Noon, 24, hung herself eight years ago at Northgate Hospital.  PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYLouise Noon, 24, hung herself eight years ago at Northgate Hospital. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Three weeks ago Claire Noon, 57, was visiting the cemetery at Winterton Church when she noticed that various items including bracelets and painted stones had been removed from the graves.

A reverend from the Diocese of Norwich has said that churchyards must follow regulations on the maintenance of cemeteries.

Mrs Noon, from Winterton, said she was “shocked” because there had been no warning of the clear-out.

Her daughter, Louise, died at the Northgate Hospital almost nine years ago.

Claire Noon, 57, was shocked after mementoes were removed without warning from her daughter's grave at Winterton Church. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYClaire Noon, 57, was shocked after mementoes were removed without warning from her daughter's grave at Winterton Church. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The 24-year-old, who had suffered from bipolar disorder, hanged herself in her room, despite being under observation.

A photograph, a lantern, a bracelet bearing her daughter’s name made by a friend and luminous stones had been removed from the grave,

Mrs Noon said there are four noticeboards at the cemetery but no information about the clean-up had been posted there.

She was upset because there was no warning, she said.

Mrs Noon said that the items were put in a box in the church’s kitchen.

“Some of them have cracked and lots of bits are missing,” she said.

Mrs Noon said that the items are not litter and that a grave is a “very sensitive thing, a private place”.

Rev John Bloomfield, priest in Charge of the Flegg Group, said: “Churchyards are an important part of a community’s heritage and they serve as an important place for reflection and as an historic record for future generations.

“The church are custodians of the church yard and must follow the Churchyard Regulations.

“These regulations set out the types of memorial which clergy are authorised to permit, information about caring for the church yard and graves as well as what is and is not permitted to be placed on graves.

“We understand that this is a sensitive and upsetting issue and would encourage any family to speak with us if they feel that we have not followed these guidelines or if they would like any support around grief and bereavement.”

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