Plea to save fire-hit chapel and overgrown Sheffield cemetery

Mick Drewry is concerned about the future of Loxley Chapel and the adjoining cemetery.  Developers have recently bought the private land, even though the building is Grade 2 listed. Mick's grandparents are buried here and his mother Jean Gregory plans to be buried there.

Mick Drewry is concerned about the future of Loxley Chapel and the adjoining cemetery. Developers have recently bought the private land, even though the building is Grade 2 listed. Mick's grandparents are buried here and his mother Jean Gregory plans to be buried there.

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A blaze which tore through a historic Sheffield chapel has raised fears over the future of the site and the adjoining cemetery.

Mick Drewry wants to save the chapel buildings and says there is a more ‘human dimension’ to the blaze which ripped through the Grade II-listed building in the early hours of August 17.

A fire at Loxley Old Church, in Loxley, Sheffield

A fire at Loxley Old Church, in Loxley, Sheffield

He said: “My maternal grandparents are buried in Loxley Cemetery, which is also destined to be the final resting place of my mother, Jean Gregory.”

Mr Drewry, aged 63, of Dunford Bridge, said the new owners of the land have a duty of care to people with loved ones buried there and called on Loxley Valley Protection Society and the local council to try to save the building.

He said: “The cemetery has been allowed to overgrow to the extent that grass, weeds and nettles are now waist height, denying access to many of the graves.

“My mother and I are looking to the owners for some assurances. I would also like to know the views of the Loxley Valley Protection Society and Bradfield Parish Council, organisations which surely cover the protection of the oldest building in Loxley and its associated ‘open’ cemetery.”

Built in 1787, the chapel has fallen into disrepair since its closure in 1993.

A Bradfield Parish Council spokesman said: “We have no power to do anything. The land has been bought by a property developer, it is privately owned. Their only responsibilities, as I understand it, is to maintain the access points to the cemetery but not the up-keep.

“I do know that English Heritage are preparing to do a report on the future of the Chapel, so we will have to await the outcome of that before we know what will happen to the site.”