Chapel ‘fallen into decay and rotting’

editorial image

A Kimberley resident says he is ‘furious’ at the state of the town’s cemetery chapel, claiming it has been ‘left to rot’.

Steve Brunt said he had visited his father’s grave at Kimberley Cemetery Chapel for 16 years, but it was now ‘uninhabitable’ and strewn with rubbish.

He said: “There’s graffiti scratched into the walls, broken roof tiles and guttering, paint peeling off the door frames and green mould on the stonework.

“I have removed alcohol cans and cigarette butts from my dad’s grave, at least one gravestone has been pushed over and someone’s beautiful ceramic urn has been smashed. It’s tremendously upsetting,” he said.

Mr Brunt, of Wetherby Close, was the vice chairman of Kimberley Town Council until May 2012, and said he and fellow councillors at the time put into place a plan to refurbish the chapel by volunteers, all agreeing to work free of charge.

But he said after he and several other councillors stepped down, the plans were ditched and did not go ahead.

He said they had been ‘weeks away’ from having civil weddings and naming ceremonies rubber stamped, and were left reeling when they heard the current town council had spent £11,000 on conducting a survey to find out what people wanted to see the chapel used for just a year later.

“It was a complete waste of money that didn’t need to be spent”, he said.

“And more to the point it was nearly two years ago that they said it would be ‘fully restored’. So what’s happened? It’s just falling into decay. It’s discraceful,” he said.

A spokesperson for Kimberley Town Council said: “With the expertise of the consultant the council is continuing its efforts to gain funding for the chapel’s renovation.
“We are aiming to finalise the project by late spring.”

A copy of the study is available to view at Kimberley Parish Hall.

Alternatively, people can ring the council on 0115 938 2733 and ask for a copy to be emailed over.