SSW asks Church of England:
What are you doing to stop Southwark destroying woods without your permission?
Save Southwark Woods asks the Diocese of Southwark what it is doing, or going to do, to stop Southwark Council’s on-going destruction of Camberwell Old Cemetery woods
Southwark is cutting down trees and disturbing graves on consecrated ground requires Church of England permission - called “faculty” - which the Council doesn’t have.
Can the Church stop them? Will the Church stop them?
Save Southwark Woods will be asking the Church for records of all communications with Southwark Council regarding the Camberwell Cemeteries.
Largest grave mounding and excavation project in UK history for all of London races ahead to create Super Cemeteries.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 25, 2016
Save Southwark Woods today asked the Diocese of Southwark what it is doing, or going to do, to stop Southwark Council’s on-going destruction of Camberwell Old Cemetery woods.
The campaign presented photographs taken on Tuesday clearly showing the felling of trees inside and outside Church consecrated areas. A tree being defined as greater than 75mm girth measured at 1.5m above ground level.
Hundreds of trees of this dimension (and dozens of trees in excess of the 150mm girth as defined by Southwark Council) have been cut down over the last three weeks since the Church was informed that work had started.
Southwark Council applied for Church permission to scrape clean 2.5 acres of woods, thickets and meadows at so-called Area Z for new burial plots in December 2015. But they couldn’t wait for permission - called “faculty” in the Church - to start.
Felling trees and disturbing graves on consecrated ground requires Church of England permission. Most of Area Z is on consecrated ground.
A Church Court hearing is to be held in late spring because of the ‘controversial’ nature of Southwark’s project, according to the Church. But the Council decided not to wait.
Last week, Diocese said that “if Southwark Council does go ahead with works in Camberwell Old Cemetery in advance of a Faculty it must be ‘at their own risk’.”
Still works have not ceased - and Save Southwark Woods has asked what the Church is doing to stop it?
These cemetery development works are part of the largest grave mounding and excavation project in UK history.
Save Southwark Woods campaigners are fighting to stop the Super Cemeteries, fighting to save over 12 acres of woods that have grown over public and private graves, and preserve the heritage and history for generations to come. More than 10,000 have signed their petition, over 3,500 of whom are from Southwark.
“We want to know what, if anything, the Church is doing to stop Southwark,” said Save Southwark Woods spokesperson Blanche Cameron. “They have told the Council that the Council doesn’t have permission for what they are doing. That obviously isn’t strong enough to make them stop.”
Here is the letter SSW sent to Chancellor Philip Petchey of the Diocese of Southwark:
Here are photographs taken on Tuesday 23rd February of the near total devastation of Area Z in Camberwell Old Cemetery - including a photo of a fox wandering around, probably wondering where his home went and a photograph of mountains of wood chips.
The photographs clearly show felling of trees far greater than 75mm girth measured at 1.5m above ground level, inside and outside Church consecrated areas. Hundreds of trees of this dimension or above have been felled over the last three weeks since we informed you that work had started.
They show the devastation wrought by Southwark Council without faculty.
Would you please tell us what the Diocese of Southwark has done to stop this destruction and what you are planning to do to prevent more devastation?
Would you also be so kind as to forward to us all communication you have had with Southwark Council regarding Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries since faculty was applied for, including the letters accompanying faculty application.
www.SaveSouthwarkWoods.org.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org | @southwarkwoods | Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods
Watch the video of the latest destruction of woods at Area Z Camberwell Old Cemetery
by Southwark Council
All photographs are of Area Z, taken February 23rd, 2016. Can you see the fox in the top photo? How can they think this is acceptable?