Words: Fran Barker
Many thanks to all who have made 2020 a year of incredible progress within Farsley Rehoboth Burial Ground on Coal Hill Lane, despite the challenges the year has thrown at us.
The daunting challenge of transforming the historic Baptist Burial Ground that had been inaccessible to the public for many decades started in March 2019, with the accreditation of Registered UK Charity, The Friends of Farsley Rehoboth Burial Ground.
Volunteer work commenced in May 2019, with little funds but great passion and enthusiasm from the local residents of Farsley, Rodley and Pudsey.
Lots has been achieved since then!
Thanks to the diligent hard work of an incredible volunteer workforce, plus immense support from many local businesses and organisations, we have achieved within 18 months progress that “experts” told us would take five years.
In 2020 we have overcome many challenges including three storms, Dennis, Ciara and Bella, the problematic Covid-19 pandemic which created a ”blip” with our projected progress at a time of infinitely beautiful weather when we could have achieved so much by being on site.
However, not to be deterred and thanks to the advice and approval of local public agencies we were able to continue our work.
Throughout 2020 we have raised sufficient funds through various fundraising activities, grants and donations to pay for the purchase of the Burial Ground in perpetuity as a community asset.
Since 2 January to 29 December 2020 we have held 172 volunteer work sessions, which equates to 1,743 volunteer attendees who have given up 6,100 hours of their time.
The volunteers vary by age, 11 years to 89 years with varying abilities and skill sets.
The most wonderful attributes are the enthusiasm and the ability to share knowledge and skills amongst all.
We encourage individuals and groups to help and support the project.
The work undertaken ranges from light duties of placing tags on trees/memorials, to assisting with the reclamation of graves and building of new all-weather accessible paths and roads, rebuilding and repairing of the 150-year-old perimeter walls, research and responding to relatives requests for information.
In 2021 we plan to be as busy with various new tasks and projects in the pipeline.
If you would like to be part of this inspirational and fulfilling project please do not hesitate to e-mail at email@example.com.