7:29am Friday 2nd May 2014
ST Peter's Church is holding a spring fair later this month - giving Cradley residents the chance to see the churchyard's transformation.
The military graves are being renovated after The Cradley Ex-Service Association received £9,000 from Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust.
And Dudley Council's Cradley and Wollescote community forum have donated £5,000 to St Peter's Church to pay for work to compliment the military graves renovation.
Reverend Katryn Leclézio, vicar of St Peter’s Cradley, made a presentation to the forum for the cash.
She said: "We are delighted to get this money because there is a lot of work to be done to compliment the military graves renovation.
"We have already had our lime trees cut back and will improve access to the churchyard by building pathways and sorting out all the sunken graves."
She added: "“The churchyard at St Peter’s is important to the people of Cradley.
"The people of St Peter’s and Cradley and the Ex-service Association are to be commended for the work and effort they are putting in to clearing the area and making it more accessible.”
A nature trail is also being built in the churchyard and a memorial orchard has already opened where people can plant a fruit tree in memory of a loved one.
There are 13 war graves at St Peter's, 12 from both world wars and one which dates back to 1900 for a soldier who died in the Boer War.
The majority of the churchyard restoration will be complete for a World War One 100th anniversary ceremony in August which is being organised by The Cradley Ex-Service Association, whose members work on the churchyard every Saturday morning and are looking for volunteers.
Cradley Councillor Tim Crumpton backed the forum cash being allocated to the church.
He said: “I am pleased that the Council is encouraging and supporting this local effort with much needed funds.
"The pollarding, grave monument repairs and levelling the ground will make the churchyard much safer to visit."
On Saturday, May 18 between 11am until 3pm the church will be holding traditional games for children and parents.
There will be stalls to browse and a chance to explore the churchyard.
Reverend Katryn Leclézio said: "It should be a great day with something for all the family and people should bring pennies or pounds to have laugh and play games."
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