Shropshire

Whitchurch baby loss memorial consecrated by bishop

St Alkmund's Church, Whitchurch Image copyright Google
Image caption The memorial is in the Garden of Remembrance at St Alkmund's Church

A new memorial for babies who have died before or soon after birth has been unveiled at a Shropshire church.

The grey granite block at St Alkmund's Church, Whitchurch, was consecrated by the Bishop of Shrewsbury earlier.

The rector, Rev Canon Judy Hunt, said the Baby Loss Memorial was in the newly extended Garden of Remembrance.

She said an inquiry in Shrewsbury recently highlighted the "difficulty for families if they do not have their babies' ashes".

The inquiry, which published its report earlier this month, found failures at Emstrey crematorium resulted in ashes being lost.

Ms Hunt said Shrewsbury had its own memorial but she expected the one in Whitchurch would be visited by bereaved families from north Shropshire and south Cheshire, some who may have "lost babies decades ago".

Sarah Elsley, who lost her unborn daughter 17 weeks into her pregnancy, had the idea of creating the memorial in the town and said fundraising for it over several months had helped bring people together.

"It affects so many people and I was thinking if it's going to help me how many other people is it going to help?" she said.

"People don't talk about baby loss and it has got the community talking and I think it has brought quite a lot of people together."

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