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On Monday at 1.00pm, community groups and residents will meet outside Southwark Cathedral as the Church's Consistory Court Hearings into the fate of the Camberwell Cemeteries begin.
A huge public outcry with over 800 objections to the Church has triggered the rare Church Consistory Court Hearings.
Southwark Council, as part of its so-called grave 're-use' or mass excavation strategy, has applied to the Church for permission to destroy acres of woods - including virgin woodland on historic One Tree Hill in Camberwell New Cemetery, and two acres of beautiful, valuable woods in Camberwell Old Cemetery to mound over 48,000 public graves - for the sake of inner city burial.
Then in February, Southwark went ahead and felled the two acres of woods in Camberwell Old Cemetery without Church permission.
Southwark’s massive ‘re-use’ programme to mound over and excavate every old grave in the Camberwell cemeteries is a test case to be replicated across London and the UK
Residents, community groups, senior politicians and others are calling on the Church to save what is left of the Camberwell Cemeteries' woods and graves.
10 acres of woods are still planned to be cut down for more burial over the graves of tens of thousands of Londoners buried in their roots.
On Monday, the Church Court Directions Hearing will decide which issues are to be allowed – including whether the destruction of acres of inner city woods and all their ecological and environmental benefits should be included in the case.
The woods are only under threat because Southwark Council wants to mound over the thousands of public graves underneath.
This is not just a Southwark issue – this has huge potential implications for the whole of the UK.
The nature, environment, health, wellbeing and history of all our cemeteries are at stake.
On Monday, the future of the Camberwell Cemeteries will be in Church hands.
Tell the Diocese of Southwark to save the woods and graves of the beautiful Camberwell Cemeteries:
Meet outside Southwark Cathedral:
1.00pm Monday 16th May
Before the Church Court Preliminary Hearing:
2.30pm Diocese of Southwark offices
Minerva House 5 Montague Close London SE1 9BB
07731 304 966
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Skull and bones in full view dug up by Southwark Council in Camberwell Old Cemetery 2008. Image courtesy of South London Press, read article here...