Words: John Baron
St Peter’s Church in Bramley will hold a special service to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of a baby found abandoned outside the rectory.
The new-born child was found in a Tesco bag on the morning of 23 November 2016. Despite the best efforts of the emergency services he was pronounced dead later that day.
The mother of the baby has never come forward or been identified and the baby was named Peter by locals after the church where he was found.
Sunday’s service will begin with the burial of Baby Peter’s ashes in the churchyard followed by a reading and a prayer. At first the grave will be marked with a simple cross. At a later date this will be replaced by a stone tablet donated by a local monumental mason.
A tree, funded by Bramley & Stanningley councillors will also be planted in memory of Baby Peter on behalf of the whole community of Bramley. A bench will later be placed near to the site so that people can pause and reflect.
The service will be held on Sunday, 5 December at 3pm at St Peter’s Church in Hough Lane.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions no further plans could be made until recently.
The Reverend Paul Crabb said the fifth anniversary of Baby Peter’s death, with fewer restrictions in place, seemed to offer an ideal opportunity for Bramley to remember him. Rev Crabb added:
“Bramley has never forgotten Baby Peter nor his mother. Many have asked about them during the last five years. People young and old have expressed their great sadness at what happened, alongside their concern that the mother has received all the care and support she deserves.
“We hope that the service on Sunday and the gifts provided by the community and local businesses will offer the people of Bramley an opportunity to remember this much-loved child both now and in the future.”
An informal service for Baby Peter was held a few days after his death outside St Peter’s Church. With the permission of the coroner a private cremation service for Baby Peter was held at Rawdon Crematorium several months later.
In the days following Baby Peter’s passing the local community rallied and left many remembrance messages outside the church.