Church condemns anonymous placing of teddies on graves saying it is ‘inconsiderate’ and ‘impolite’


The mysterious placing of dozens of cuddly toys on graves has been deemed ‘inconsiderate’ and ‘impolite’ by church officials.

Soft toys were discovered on graves at Maulden’s St Mary the Virgin Church last week but they had not been put there by relatives of the deceased.

Instead it is believed that the toys were some kind of anonymous protest against rules that say keepsakes and trinkets must not be left on graves.

Earlier this year, the rules banning trinkets, toys, shrubs and small trees, were enforced upsetting some who visit loved ones buried in the graveyard.

The Diocese of St Albans said the regulations help ensure the graveyard is kept ‘clean and tidy’.

A spokesman for the diocese said: “The recent mass placing of teddy bears on graves is contrary to the regulations, inconsiderate to relatives of those buried and causes work for those who care for the churchyard to maintain a tidy and welcoming appearance, which affords relatives and others who wish to visit a place of remembrance and peace.

“The regulations which apply to all Church of England churchyards in the Diocese of St Albans do not permit the placing of trinkets on graves or memorials in Church of England churchyards.

“Trinkets and others objects such as soft toys can quickly become unsightly, unhygienic or present a hazard to those who use or care for churchyards, which are public open spaces.”

The T&C understands that the church wardens are keeping hold of the cuddly toys in case someone wishes to claim them.

The diocese spokesman added: “The church would have moved them because they are clearly not authorised.

“It would clearly be pretty impolite to the relatives of those buried in the graveyard who do not want ornaments placed there.”