A rockery and plaque have been installed at The Community Church in Main Street, Stapenhill, to commemorate those who have passed away during the pandemic.

The engraved slate plaque has been created and donated by Art Stone Memorials, of Main Street, Stapenhill, specialists in creating and renovating graveside memorials across the Midlands.

Church leader Dawn Charles explained the reason behind the memorial: “During the course of the pandemic we were aware that it was especially hard for families who lost loved ones and weren’t able to have the funeral or memorial that they would have wanted.

“Taking the lead from our friends at Riverside church in town, we originally offered to place crosses in our front garden with the name and photograph of the loved one who had died.

“We did, however, become aware that the photos wouldn’t withstand the elements over time and therefore wanted to offer something a little more robust which would be a permanent reminder of those we have lost during the Pandemic.

“We have therefore created a memorial rockery and we were so grateful when Art Stone Memorials, whose showroom is nearby, offered to make and donate a plaque to commemorate those people whose photos have been in our garden for nearly two years.

“This has given us an opportunity to continue to encourage those who are grieving loved ones to place plants or flowers in the memorial garden and we love that the stone is now a permanent and weatherproof memorial to loved ones in our community.”

Art Stone Memorials showroom manager Amy Lamb continued: “As someone who has been born and bred in Stapenhill, I know just what a strong sense of community there is here and we were delighted to support The Community Church in their bid to create a lasting memorial.

“The past two years have been particularly difficult for those who have lost loved ones and then not been able to pay their respects and celebrate their lives as they would have wished.

“We hope that this memorial will bring comfort to local families who are still coming to terms with their loss.”

Art Stone Memorials have been serving local communities since 2010 with the design, creation and installation of new memorials as well as renovating and cleaning existing memorials.

It is part of the family-owned Wathall’s group with a presence in the funeral directors’ branches in Derby, Allestree, Alvaston, Ashbourne, Burton and Borrowash.

Picture shows, the Art Stone Memorials design and installation team with the rockery plaque, from left: memorial mason Alex Burlaka with technicians Matt Williams and Owen Frost.

To get in touch, please search for Artstone Memorials or Wathall’s funeral directors on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.art-stone.co.uk and www.wathalls.co.uk for direct contact details.