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Waiting over to lay loved ones to rest

PUBLISHED: 04:16 24 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

FAMILIES who have been storing their loved ones ashes at their local church and with funeral directors, are finally able to lay them to rest, now that a new cemetery has opened after years of lobbying.

FAMILIES who have been storing their loved ones ashes at their local church and with funeral directors, are finally able to lay them to rest, now that a new cemetery has opened after years of lobbying.

Villagers at Combs, near Stowmarket, have been unable to bury their relatives in the local cemetery since it became full seven years ago.

People have been buried at Stowmarket, but some families chose to keep their loved ones ashes stored at the village church as they waited for the new cemetery.

Finally after so much lobbying, the families can intern their loved ones ashes in the new cemetery after the parish council bought and converted some farmland.

It is believed there are about nine sets of loved ones ashes waiting to be laid to rest and Rev Jan Fowler of Combs said: "I notified everybody as soon as I heard the burial ground was ready. It is important for people to be buried in their community.''

Len Hammond, a war veteran whose parents William and Esther are buried in Combs, has been one of the villagers at the forefront of lobbying for the new cemetery.

Mr Hammond, 82, said: "It's been a long, hard campaign, but it will mean a lot to people to be laid to rest in our own village.

"I am so pleased we finally have it and want to thank all those who have been pressing for this, the British legion, the old comrades association, residents and our MP David Ruffley.

"We could never understand why the parish council did not plan ahead for this. All we knew was that the graveyard was suddenly closed.''

Gerald Cornish, vice chairman of Combs Parish Council, said the cemetery has finally been acquired for villagers.

He said 1.3 acres of agricultural land has been bought from a local farmer very close to the church, off Church Road in the village.

Mr Cornish said: "It's taken more than seven years of negotiating and preparation, but finally we have got the cemetery for Combs.

"It all takes time. But we are there now and I'm so glad it's now there for the village.''

The new cemetery has 600 plots and will be used for the first internment of ashes very soon.

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