Consecration of St John Cemetery - Friday 9th August 1878


The ceremony of consecrating St John's new burial ground was performed on Friday by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese. About three years ago the parish of St John became alive to the fact that the old churchyard would soon be too full to admit of more interments and it was decided in vestry that means should at once be taken to obtain a new cemetery.

A Burial Board was formed and the Rev J.W. Collins appointed chairman to which position the Rev F.S.P Seale the present vicar was afterwards elected, and Mr. Hugh Poole was appointed clerk.

After some difficulty a site adjoining the Bristol road was purchased from Mr F. D. Clothier which it is estimated is large enough to contain about 2,100 graves.

Chapels have been erected on the ground, one for the church and another for the Non-conformists.

Messrs, E Down and Son were the Architects and their design has met with general approbation. Within twelve months a good deal has been done and the place, which was once a rough hilly-looking field, has been converted into a neat-looking piece of land.

There is a long coach drive entrance, which is fenced off with iron railings and ornamented with shrubs on either side, which appear to thrive well. Shrubs of all kinds are planted at advantageous spots all over the cemetery and as time rolls on and they develop the place will have a very attractive appearance. The whole cost of the land, chapels and laying out is estimated at £3000 and it is confidently hoped that the sum will not be exceeded.

A lodge-entrance is now in the course of erection. The stone work of the chapels and pillars at the entrance-gate has been executed by Messrs Bradfield & Sons and Mr James Kitch is the builder.

The land is divided into three portions, one for the church, and one for the Nonconformists and another for the Roman Catholics. Those portions allotted to the church and Nonconformists have been divided into three sections, in each of which a different fee for burials will be charged. Previous to the opening ceremony there was a gathering in St John’s Church. Several hymns were sung and the litany read by the Vicar.

The bishop afterwards ascended the pulpit and delivered an address to the congregation.

After the ceremony was concluded, an adjournment was made to St John's School-room, where luncheon was provided.

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