AN ELDERLY Rhyl woman has been left feeling “depressed” by her garden being in “a complete mess” amid a dispute with a church in the town whose cemetery backs onto her home.

Lynda Hill, 79, moved into her bungalow, on Maple Avenue, in February 2023, but her daughter, Ceri Coulson, said this has been a source of frustration for her for almost a year now.

Her garden backs onto Maes Hyfryd, the cemetery of St Thomas’ Church, but Ceri said overgrowth from the grounds has become “out of control”.


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Rhyl Journal: Lynda HillLynda Hill (Image: Ceri Coulson)

As a result, she added, “lots of the weeds and trees are hanging over into my mum’s garden”.

St Thomas’ Church said there are plans to resolve the issues Lynda is facing next month, with contractors having been found to carry out the necessary work.

Ceri said she contacted St Thomas’ Church on her mother’s behalf last June, as her fence panels were breaking due to the weight of the debris. 

Though she was told then that this would be looked into, Ceri said that “months went by” without receiving any update from the church.

Towards the end of 2023, Ceri said she was told that the church is making “progress” on the matter, having inspected and put a “plan in place”, with funding having been applied for to clear the debris. 

But by March, Ceri said that “still, no work had begun, and the growth is now completely out of control”.

She added: “I’ve explained that I feel my mum has been extremely patient regarding the matter. She is 80 in August, and has always loved a nice, tidy garden.

“I own the bungalow, and rent it out to her – we gutted it, and put new a bathroom and kitchen in; it’s all beautiful, but the only thing we haven’t been able to do is the garden.

“She wants to improve her garden and replace the patio and fence panels, but while the weeds and trees continue to grow from the churchyard, she is unable to do so. 

Rhyl Journal: Lynda's gardenLynda's garden (Image: Ceri Coulson)

“It’s a shame as, before we know it, it’ll be winter again, and my mum has missed another summer of her being able to enjoy her garden.

“I’ve also explained how this issue is now affecting my mum’s mental health; she’s getting depressed when looking at the constant mess outside and feels very let down by the church. 

“I’m constantly having to chase the church and each time we speak with somebody we feel we are being passed from pillar to post, with excuse after excuse and are not getting anywhere.”

In response, Reverend Helen Gheorghiu Gould, of St Thomas’ Church, apologised for the distress that the issue has caused Ceri’s mother.

She added that those and church “wholly empathise” with her and are “working hard” to resolve it.

Contractors have been secured to try to rectify the problem in June, she added.

Rhyl Journal: Lynda's gardenLynda's garden (Image: Ceri Coulson)

Revd. Gould said: “I have been in touch with Mrs Coulson throughout to keep her updated and she has been aware since April that it is in hand.

“This is not just an isolated job, but part of a wider programme of improvements to the churchyard to make it a beautiful green space which the community will appreciate.

“We will look forward to updating the community and inviting them to find out more in due course.

“Naturally, the first priority in this programme is sorting out the area behind Mrs Hill’s garden.

“We have been grateful to Mrs Hill for her patience, but also to the family for raising this issue, without which we would not have had this opportunity to make the churchyard a better place for all in that area of East Rhyl.”