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Southwark Council has started work! On consecrated ground without Church permission!

25 January 2016

Southwark Council announced today they have started work to fell two acres of trees and woodland undergrowth at Camberwell Old Cemetery.

And they say they don’t NEED Church permission – even though the Church say they DO!

The Council owns the land and is trying to make out felling trees and clearing woods is ‘preparatory work’.

This is not true! It forms the very basis of their application to the Church for permission (called faculty). And most of the area is consecrated ground.

The Diocese Registrar Richard Hastings stated categorically to SSW in writing this morning:

“The Council must obtain consent from the Consistory Court of the Diocese in the form of a faculty before any works within the consecrated areas may take place”.


“the Consistory Court has not granted permission for any works to take place, as due process with respect to those who have objected must first be undertaken.”

This is total disrespect for institutions and the people, over 700 of whom have objected to the Church.

Southwark Council information board
Southwark Council say they have started works – and they don’t need Church permission – even though the Church say they do! Posted today at Camberwell Old Cemetery

PLEASE call the Church to ask what on earth is going on and tell them to stop the works!

Richard Hastings, Clerk to the Registry:

0207 593 0235

Philip Petchey, Chancellor to the Diocese:

020 7353 8415

Paul Morris, Diocesan Registrar

0207 593 5110

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury


Harriet Harman MP for the Cemeteries

0207 219 4218

Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council

020 7525 0694

Cllr Darren Merrill, in charge of the cemetery plans

07956 624482

MPs bordering the Cemeteries

Helen Hayes Jim Dowd, Vicky Foxcroft:

Ward Councillors:

Vikki Mills, Gavin Edwards, Renata Hamvas:

Call on the Church to do the right thing – they can stop the work now!

Blanche Cameron

Save Southwark Woods

07731 304 966

Cllr Darren Merrill’s email to the Cemeteries Stakeholder Group this morning:

Dear stakeholder,

Works commencing in Camberwell Old Cemetery

Further to Rebecca Towers letter of 13 November 2015, I am writing to advise that we have, today, commenced the preparatory works in Camberwell Old Cemetery.

The works will include construction of holding around the site, a new fence and a temporary site access point, clearance of scrub, felling of some trees and ground investigations into the contaminated stockpile.

We will also be installing two information boards adjacent to the site where details about the project can be found.

It is important to note that these works are being delivered in accordance with the planning permissions that were granted in October 2015 and that these preparatory works have been discussed with the Diocese of Southwark.

We will attempt to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum but apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

Should you require further information about our projects please visit or email

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Darren Merrill

Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm

Labour Member for East Walworth