Warrington-Worldwide.co.uk incorporates the Village Life, Culcheth Life, Frodsham Life & Lymm Life magazines.

St Mary’s Cemetery group seeks volunteers


ST Mary’s Cemetery Friends group, at Great Sankey, Warrington is on the look out for more volunteers.

The friends of St Mary’s cemetery is a group of volunteers who aim to restore respect to the beautiful and much loved cemetery so that all who rest there do so with dignity and all who visit do so in peace and safety, assured that their loved ones are resting in a place of beauty and tranquillity.

The Friends,  who have  the full support of Warrington Borough Council Bereavement Services, are proud of their achievements over the past years. They constantly carry out ongoing repairs and improvements to all aspects of the cemetery.

The first burial at the site was on July 3, 1881 and was of a little girl called Emily Goulden who was only 18 months old for whom a new headstone has been purchased and placed. The cemetery was then officially closed on  May 8 2003 at a meeting of the Privy Council, chaired by The Queen, at Buckingham Palace.

The cemetery has numerous military graves and memorials ranging from war graves of fallen heroes from three conflicts, a grave of an “unknown warrior” and Sgt James Donohue, one of the buglers who sounded the charge for the Light Brigade in the Crimean War.

It has , on site, a listed war memorial which is the focal point of the annual Armistice Day commemorations for Penketh and Great Sankey at which up to 500 can be present.  Also resting in the cemetery are family members of people from both local and global history, from the local tannery families to a relative of Sir William Morgan Stanley, the man who uttered the immortal words “Dr Livingstone, I presume”.

Volunteers are on hand at the weekend to help or advise visitors.

If you want to get involved, or if you need help in any way, please contact the group here http://www.friendsofstmaryscemetery.co.uk


About Author


  1. I think it’s the responsibilty of the churches themselves Indy. I’m not sure if it applies to all Churches but I remember St Thomas’ Church in Stockton heath applying to the local Parish Council for a small donation a few years ago towards buying their own lawn mower etc after the group from Appleton Thorn Young Offenders were, for some reason, stopped from cutting and tidying it all for them. When I was having a wander aroud the church grounds near the Stocks pub at Padgate last year there were elderly volunteers cutting the grass etc too and they said they were solely responsible for the upkeep these days. They seemed to be enjoying themselves though 😀

  2. Hi Indy and Dizzy
    The Church still own the cemetery (or to give it it’s true title ‘Extended Churchyard’) but when cemeteries are closed the Church can ask the local authority to take over maintenance and be responsible for H&S. To cut a long story short, the local authority can’t really say no; so WBC, who were only originally responsible for 4 cemeteries, now have 4 cemeteries and an additional 13 closed churchyards to look after, with no additional funding. Groups like ours (the Friends of St Mary’s) really help them to manage so many cemeteries on such a restricted budget. And what’s even better….we LOVE doing it!

Leave A Comment