“They are kindness itself to the descendants of those buried there.
Thank you.” Kath O’Sullivan, New Zealand.
The Farsley Rehoboth Baptist Burial Ground was a place of internment from 1785 to 2000 and reflected the growth of Farsley, Leeds and in particular its textile industry with many prominent residents buried there.
In total there are circa 4,000 local people from Farsley, Rodley and Pudsey interred in the Rehoboth, all with their own histories and contribution to the growth and history of Farsley.
Our work commenced with the purchase of the Rehoboth on 31st May 2019 and has progressed with over 17,900 volunteer hours dedicated to reclaiming this historic site, situated on a steep wooded hillside.
Our first major donation was from the Aviva Community Fund; we appreciate our ongoing support for our important project.
Our restored entrance and assembly area
Bringing together all the community.......
For many, many years there had been no access for relatives to visit graves without trespass. The neglect of the Burial Ground had been considerable. The only entrance on Coal Hill Lane was padlocked and inaccessible due to overgrowth of trees and foliage.
Our Registered Charity, (Number 1182468) was established in March 2019 to purchase, reclaim and maintain this historic ground make accessible, restore the heritage of the local people and return to the community as an asset. We are formally designated an official Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.
There are eight official War Graves and fifteen Remembered Graves in the burial ground from both World Wars. All of which are fully researched with their stories waiting to be told to the community with an additional 15 “Remembered Graves” discovered with an inscription paying tribute to a fallen member of their family. November is a special month with great emphasis on those who gave their lives.
Please click here to visit our website for further information on our War and Remembered Graves.
This was the only registered Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in the UK with no right to access on Remembrance Sunday, until our televised service on 11th November 2019. Our second service will be delivered on Thursday 11th November 2021.
Please click here for coverage of our 2019 service.
What we have achieved to date............
In the period since 2nd January to 24th October 2021 we have held 139 volunteer work sessions, which equates to 1,469 volunteer attendees who have given up 6,607 hours of their time. This is despite the enforced and necessary restrictions and closures due to Covid-19.
We are often told our reclamation project has galvanised the community, with the “can do” attitude of the volunteers.
The ongoing development of this project has created a sense of local pride.
This has enabled visitors to be reunited with the heritage of a previously lost local asset which now benefits relatives, “locals” and friends.
Our Heritage Team provide conducted tours for the general public and relatives on a weekly basis, supported by an online database incorporated in our newly launched website:
Please click here to visit our website
To develop and deliver our role within the ecosystem we have mapped and preserved trees and plant life which will be monitored and documented each year. We are transforming sections of our two acre site with new plant life, bird habitats and water supplies to combat the effects of climate change.
Our portable and recognisable skills within the volunteer teams range from the restoration of memorials, rebuilding 150 year old walls, family and military research, excavation, non invasive foliage management all carried out by unpaid volunteers..
Our project contributes to our local area in West Leeds/Pudsey by providing access and escorted tours on a site that was inaccessible for decades, attracting visitors from other areas that utilise local shops and services.
We have established partnerships with local and national businesses, our local Academy and Youth Organistions and 100 inducted volunteers. We encourage volunteer placement opportunities with Voluntary Action Leeds and a local Specialist Independent Learning Centre.
Please request any information or further details of our work.
A testimonial to our work.........
“My name is Mike Turner and I live on the Isle of Wight with my wife Ann. I have been doing Family History research on my wife Ann's side. She has two half sisters, Jean and Margaret from her father's first marriage. Unfortunately they lost their Mum when they were 5 and 7. Jean and Margaret were never taken to their mother’s grave although they knew where it was. Then of course the Rehoboth Burial Ground was sold and became a jungle. This week we visited the site expecting to only be able to look at the gate! Imagine our surprise to see all the work that had taken place and was still underway. I spoke to the volunteers who were working there and explained Jean’s situation and that her mum’s grave was E23. I could not believe they said it was accessible. We donned high Vis jackets and were taken to the grave. Can you imagine how Jean felt being able to see and touch her mother’s grave for the first time ever, at age 78. The bonus was her Grandparents were also interred with her mother."
Our visitors and reuniting families......
How YOU can help............
We are focussing on the restoration and rebuilding of graves, securing the ecological balance by utilising 30 months of experience in developing Infrastructure creating all weather accessible paths and tracks and stepped paths that preserve the steep slopes from erosion. We are halfway through installing 250 grave markers with personalised plaques to mark the many graves that do not have any identification.
Please click here to visit our website and see our reclamation work.
We have introduced an electricity supply from the National Grid to provide lighting, a Wi-Fi hub for better access to the QR stations, for audio visual projections during tours and cameras to record wildlife activity.
We appreciate your interest and the continued support of Aviva staff.
To enable us to raise our target fund for this cherished local historic site we appeal to your generosity to request you make a donation to this very worthwhile Charity.
Our volunteers appreciate your support and that of the Aviva Community Fund.
Please request any information or further details of our work.