A GWENT resident says he is appalled at the state of St John’s burial ground in Garndiffaith, after visiting it for the first time in years last week.

Simon Jenkins, 42, of Devon Place, Abersychan, visited the cemetery, which is known locally as Varteg Hill Cemetery, with his mother Sue Jenkins, 62, who has relatives buried there.

Mr Jenkins said he was shocked at the state of disrepair the graveyard has been left in.

He said: “It’s a total disgrace.

Everything is completely overgrown and you can only see the top of some graves.

“It’s a lack of respect and should be dealt with. ”

Mr Jenkins’ mother Sue said: “I used to be a regular visitor as my mother would take me along when she’d take flowers and look after the grave.

“My grandparents, who died before I was born, are buried there, along with my sister, who died the day before her first birthday in 1947.

“I was shocked to see just how bad it is.

“There’s a warning sign outside telling people it’s dangerous and you enter at your own risk.

“I knew roughly where the grave of my relatives should be, but the place was so overgrown I couldn’t find it.

“It must be awful for the people who have family buried there, who they knew really well.

The vicar of Blaenavon, the Rev Dr Jason Bray, also Priest-in-Charge of Abersychan and Garndiffaith, said: “St John’s Church had to close a few years ago, unfortunately, due to a lack of funds.

“It didn’t even have enough money to keep itself going, let alone the churchyard.

“Volunteers in Blaenavon are helping clear churchyards and they’re hoping to make their way down to Garndiffaith.”