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Work starts on £20,000 drainage scheme in churchyard

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WORK has started on a new drainage system, costing more than £20,000, at Newchurch Parish Church, Culcheth.
Adrian Howarth’s Culcheth Paving and Groundwork are carrying out the work which should alleviate flooding in the churchyard following periods of heavy rain.
Community involvement in the scheme will continue with the help of the local farmer at Ratcliffe House Farm, who will be delivering materials for the project to the back of the church across his land – preventing damage to church pathways and keeping disruption to a minimum.
The project will provide underground drains and soakaways to take away troublesome surface water and provide suitable pathways in the graveyard.
More than £20,000 has been raised to carry out the work, with David and Judith Charlton leading the fundraising campaign.
Donations came mainly through the generosity of people in the local community and from those who have connections with the village but live elsewhere in the UK and Europe.
Community donations have been boosted by funds from, among others, All Churches Trust Ltd, Warrington Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Fund, The Lions, The Rotary Club of Newton and District Jubilee, Cheshire Community Foundation, The Bishop Radford Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation.
The first Turf Cutting took place with the Rev Barbara Alldred and the Rev Pat Gray in attendance with the contractor and the churchwardens.
The churchyard at Newchurch Parish Church, Culcheth dates from the 16th century. It was extended in 1955 to provide additional space. This additional space was previously farmland and has no form of drainage. The soil is heavy clay and during prolonged or heavy rainfall becomes waterlogged.
During winter months the churchyard is often inaccessible. Unlike many churches the churchyard at Newchurch is still open to new burials and it is estimated that this will continue for many years.
But the waterlogged ground presents major difficulties during burial services. The installation of an effective drainage system is considered a major priority to maintain access and continued use of the churchyard.

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