Story: Liz Searle
When I arrive at Burngreave Chapel on a sunny April Sunday, there is a lively and welcoming feel. The Friends are there to show people around the building and cemetery and one visitor is getting help to find his great-grandmother's grave.
People come from all over to find out about relatives who are resting here. Thanks to the Friends' hard work transcribing the burial records, they can find information with help from the well-informed volunteers. Family history research is a huge part of what the group does but, as I found out, there is a lot more besides!
Formed in 2000, the Friends of Burngreave Chapel and Cemetery keep the building in good condition and support visitors who are looking into their past.
Affable chairman Ken Wild says he got involved because he had come to find his family plot.
“I found my grandmother – and more of her family I didn't know about,”
he told me, showing me round the beautiful cemetery on an informal version of his regular tour.
The next one is 3rd June – don't miss out!
In the chapel itself is a wonderful display of the history of Pitsmoor.
The group has become a limited company and aims to get charitable status to allow them to receive funding for vital work such as mending the roof and doors of the right-hand chapel.
The left-hand building is regularly used for bike workshops, circus shows and art exhibitions, as well as the Sunday Friends’ meetings but the group also wants to bring the second chapel back into public use.
Local artist Patrick Amber said,
“at the Interactive Art Festival in March, a girl came with her mum after seeing it advertised in the Messenger. She got involved straight away and made a big, bright daffodil using willow, paper and paint. She'd never done anything like it before and thoroughly enjoyed it.”
The Friends are looking for new people to get involved in any capacity. If you are interested in the buildings and cemetery, family history, art, community or just want to come down for a chat you are very welcome!
Sundays 11am-3pm in summer, 12-2pm in winter.