Bishop visits new woodland burial park in Lowestoft

From left: Rev Trevor Riess, vicar of Gunton St Peter Church, Anita Graves, Gunton Woodland Burial P

From left: Rev Trevor Riess, vicar of Gunton St Peter Church, Anita Graves, Gunton Woodland Burial Park manager, The Bishop of Thetford, the Rt Rev Alan Winton and Harry Hill, Trust Chairman. - Credit: Archant

Families can now book burials and have ashes interred at a new woodland burial park after its consecration by the Bishop of Thetford.

The Rt Rev Alan Winton performed the ceremony to mark the first phase of the 30-acre Gunton Woodland Burial Park.

Its first interment of ashes is booked for Friday, January 8 with further interments scheduled by local funeral directors.

After a short service in Gunton St Peter's Church, attended by trustees, parishioners and councillors, the bishop led a walk around the borders of the site to be consecrated before performing the ceremony on Monday, December 7.

'This is a fantastic achievement and a creative use of the land that the church was fortunate to have been given', Rt Rev Winton said.

'There is a need for plots for burial and interment of ashes and it is great that we can provide a variety of places where people can be buried.

'Some people prefer the more traditional cemetery but this woodland burial park is great venture and an alternative, which will become a place of beauty where people can come to say goodbye to their loved ones and visit',

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Demand for plots have already exceeded all predictions with nearly £30,000 paid in reservations since its launch three months ago.

More than 60 people have already booked and paid for the spot they would like to be laid to rest or have their ashes interred.

Harry Hill, chair of the non-profit making charity, said: 'Before we began we were advised that about 80 per cent of people wanted to be cremated with the remaining 20 per cent wanting burial. Since we launched, we have found it is more like 50-50.

'We have been taken by surprise but it shows how much a woodland burial park was needed locally.'

People can choose single burial spots in glades for £650 and £1300 for couples or friends side by side. Burial of ashes, for one to two space plots, costs £300.

To enquire about reservations, call: 07419324078 or email info@gwbp.co.uk.

Do you have a Lowestoft story? Email: joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk