Unhappy with the idea that both ancient and modern corpses should be exhumed and reburied in a pit ‘some place’, they are insisting that the Church should have a ‘bit more say’ in the matter.
The Archbishop’s Council, which is amongst the Church’s most powerful bodies, has released a statement indicating that it is opposed to the line because it believes that human remains may not be “treated in a decent and reverent manner”. According to a parliamentary submission by the Archbishop’s Council, the HS2 line will pass through three consecrated burial grounds.
The expansion of Euston Station in North London will require more than 30,000 graves to be exhumed at St James’ Gardens, an 18th-century burial ground.
Additionally the remains of 2,600 people will have to be exhumed from a 12th-century graveyard in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, to make way for the line, along with remains beneath Park Street in Birmingham where a new terminal is being built.
Opposition to building the line through the graveyards was no doubt expected to meet little opposition from residents, in stark contrast to the landslide of protest experienced elsewhere.
Rumours that the Hoo Mann Bone China Company had offered to help with the operation, of moving the three cemeteries, has been strenuously denied both by officials and the dwindling number of supporters of the high speed train project.