A mum has managed to overturn a decision by St Columb Major Town council to remove her dead son’s teddy from his gravestone.
Lisa and Eliot Clarke’s son Harry was born on the 6th August 02 with a defective heart. He lived for two weeks but sadly died on 19th August 02.
Harry’s ashes were buried at St Columb Major Church in Cornwall and on his headstone his parents placed an ornament of a daddy teddy reading baby teddy a story. However, on Christmas Eve the family came across a note in the cemetery from the Town Clerk saying that, “items must be removed, to improve the general appearance". This caused huge upset for Harry’s family, as the teddy was a comfort to them as it had been there as long as his ashes had.
Lisa Clarke then created a petition and a campaign group on facebook to keep Harry’s teddy on his gravestone. The campaign grew and the story reached members of the town council some of whom were unaware of the issue.
They explained that the decision was based on a 20-year-old legally binding pact between the Church of England and the town council, stating “No memorials other than the simple slate tablets … will be permitted and in order to maintain the dignity and general appearance of the Closed Churchyard.”
The agreement was never strictly adhered to until a recent complaint was made to the town council leading to the council referring back to the 20-year-old agreement and so the decision was made to get all "excess" items removed.
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Yesterday the Clarke family and their supporters attended a town council meeting at St Columb Major and the council has agreed to work together to get the law relating to the churchyard changed so that Harry’s teddy can stay along with many other mementoes from other families.
The Clarke family are said to be ecstatic at the decision, and Harry’s teddy can stay while further discussions are held.
To listen to Lisa Clarke talk about this issue click here
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