PARISHIONERS marked the £15,000 renovation of a village cemetery with a dedication service attended by their MP, whose own father is buried there.

Durham county councillors, Trimdon Parish Council and worshippers at St Mary Magdalene Church, in Trimdon village, County Durham, were involved in the campaign to restore East End Cemetery.

The work saw new gates fitted at the entrance and the exterior walls re-pointed.

County councillors Peter Brookes, Lucy Hovvels and Morris Nicholls contributed £12,000 to the scheme via their neighbourhood budgets.

Cllr Brookes said: “St Mary’s has a very active church community and the cemetery is a part of the heritage of the village and it’s very visible on the approach from the south.

“This is a project that we were very happy to support.”

Trimdon Parish Council donated a further £3,000 and some money also came via St Mary Magdalene Church.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson, whose father Bernard Wilson is buried in the cemetery, said: “It’s great to see the cemetery restored to how it used to be.

“It is a personal place for people to come. It’s a place for quiet relaxation."

The cemetery was in use from the 1820s until the 1960s when it closed before it reopening in 1991.

It is still in use today and houses a memorial to the 1882 Trimdon Grange colliery disaster, plus the graves of war dead.

Father Michael Gobbett, of St Mary Magdalene, said: “I think it makes it a nice place for people to come to remember loved ones.

“It shows the good partnership between the church and the community and I think it is a great testament to how hard people have worked.”