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Pendeen Community Cemetery Project

Background Information

Pendeen Village is an isolated rural community in far West Cornwall around 7 miles from Land’s End. The sense of belonging and connection to this wild unspoilt land, and to each other, is incredibly strong here. There is a huge intergenerational community spirit that exists. Residents support one another on many levels – physically, emotionally, spiritually and even financially when they can (and have done so for decades, not just during the recent Covid crisis).

Pendeen Community Cemetery Project

The existing graveyard in Pendeen village (which served not only the village but also several other outlying hamlets) is now completely full. Currently there are no burial places for those wishing to be laid to rest in their community, close to family and friends. Neither the church nor the local authority will take on any extra provision. The Covid pandemic has exacerbated the anxiety of this situation, particularly amongst the elderly residents.

The Pendeen Community Cemetery Project was set up three years ago as a result of a public meeting to discuss the burial crisis. The aim of the project is to establish a community-run cemetery. This would be open to all (or no) faiths, beliefs and lifestyles without discrimination. All they would need to have is a connection to this area. It will be run entirely as an affordable, non-profit making facility. We believe this to be the first venture of its kind in the whole of the UK (cemeteries are run by faith groups, local authorities or businesses and we have been unable to find one that is run as a not-for-profit venture by a community group).

Project Progress

Since that public meeting in 2017 we have achieved a great deal. Local landowners Terry and Janet Davy very generously donated a part of the field adjacent to the Centre of Pendeen (community centre building) for this purpose. This land will be large enough for 340 double plots. A committee was formed and has fundraised over £7,000 to enable:

  • surveys and Environment Agency soil & water testing to be carried out
  • local authority planning permissions obtained
  • and all necessary legal work to transfer ownership of the land to take place.

Cornwall Community Foundation and St Just Town Council have also supported us by awarding £1k and £2k respectively towards the cost of some of the elements of the project. We now have all necessary permissions from both the EA and Cornwall Council in place.

Testing Soil

The project is under the umbrella of the Land’s End Peninsula Community Land Trust and in September 2022 the legal work was completed to transfer ownership of the donated parcel of land to the LEPCLT.

In order for the Community Cemetery to begin operations we now need to complete the necessary ground and landscaping works that are required by the local authority and EA in order to comply with the planning permission. As we are also in a World Heritage Site designated area this work entails several phases/elements:

The funds needed for these works amounts to around £80,000 and we are now in the process of identifying potential funding sources.

Any assistance or advice to enable us to progress the project to its conclusion would be hugely appreciated.

Delia Webb
On behalf of the
Pendeen Community Cemetery Project

PCCP Committee Members: Delia Webb, Malcolm Early, Bev Strick, Marcia Hancocks, Jane Colliver

How you can support us

We welcome anyone supporting our objectives and projects. You can become a Member for £1 – just complete the contact form and we will be in touch.