DRUG paraphernalia, condoms and other waste are covering the floor of a memorial garden in a derelict Newport church.

Michael Heard recently visited St Paul’s Church, in Commercial Street, to lay flowers for his late sister, Linda Acott, whose ashes are interred in its memorial garden.

The 59-year-old was left “stunned” when he walked in to see “waste of all sorts” strewn across the site.

South Wales Argus:

(The mess)

“There are needles, condoms, clothes, cans of beer and all sorts of stuff,” said the former maintenance electrician.

“It is a shock to see. I was not expecting to see any of it. My sister was only 26 when she died 40 years ago of cancer. This is insulting to her memory.

“I truly am gutted at seeing this mess.”

South Wales Argus:

(The memorial garden)

“The waste is covering some memorial plaques where people’s ashes are.

“I was tempted to clean it myself. I was that desperate. But my daughter stopped me because of the needles.

“If the mess is left there then it’ll start to cover even more plaques.

“I am calling for the mess to be cleared right away. It had been kept lovely for many years. It is so sad what has happened.”


South Wales Argus:

(Michael Heard in the memorial garden)

A spokeswoman from the Diocese of Monmouth, which previously owned the church, said: “The former St Paul’s Church was sold by the Church in Wales in 2018.

"The new owner is responsible for the upkeep of the cremated remains area and the Church in Wales is in contact with the new owner to address the recent problem of littering.

"We are sorry for any distress the condition of the area has caused and we will work with the new owners to ensure the area is managed appropriately going forward."

Attempts have been made to contact the new owner of the site.