Mystery of ashes anonymously left in Kent church solved

13 April 2018

MARATHON/GEOGRAPH/COMMONS

The inside of St Mary’s, in St Mary in the Marsh, where an urn of ashes was left behind without explanation

The inside of St Mary’s, in St Mary in the Marsh, where an urn of ashes was left behind without explanation

AN URN of ashes which was left anonymously at a church in Kent has been reunited with a family member of the deceased, and will be given a proper burial next month, thanks to an article in the Church Times, the priest who raised the appeal has said.

The Revd Julie Coleman, Priest-in-Charge of the Romney Marsh Benefice, spoke last month of her “desperation” to find whoever had left the urn of ashes in St Mary’s, in the village of St Mary-in-the-Marsh, so that she could arrange a proper burial (News, 9 March).

The urn, which was found by the churchwarden, together with a single pink carnation, last May, is labelled with the name Louisa C. Matthews, and states that she died on 31 August 2003.

Ms Coleman said on Tuesday that a family member of the deceased had come forward since the article was published. “I am so grateful,” she said.

She had been “overwhelmed” by the response to the article, and had received information from people all over the country, and even in France, who hoped to help her to locate the family.

Previous enquiries with undertakers, the coroner, and the police had not produced any information.

The ashes are to be buried in a private ceremony, in May, one year after they were found.

Church Times: about us

The Church Times Podcast

Interviews and news analysis from the Church Times team. Listen to this week’s episode online

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read twelve articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)