Many in the village support the decision
PUBLISHED: 11:17 27 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:03 24 May 2010
I WRITE in reply to your article in Friday's Mercury about Mrs Winter's baby. Please understand that many people in the village of Churchill support the decision to refuse Mrs Winter permission to put distressing pictures (and inappropriate memorials) on
I WRITE in reply to your article in Friday's Mercury about Mrs Winter's baby. Please understand that many people in the village of Churchill support the decision to refuse Mrs Winter permission to put distressing pictures (and inappropriate memorials) on a grave in a public graveyard of a church she doesn't attend. I support that decision wholeheartedly - but Mrs Porter didn't ask me.Although Mrs Winter's friends - and those who are not her friends - obviously sympathise with her distress over her stillborn baby, as anyone would, those of us who objected to her churchyard display do not deserve to be vilified as snobs who object simply because, as your reporter puts it, Mrs Winter comes from 'the wrong side of the village'. We objected because we don't believe that the memorials and picture placed on the grave by the family were in keeping with the rest of the churchyard. (Incidentally, does our village have sides - lots of us didn't know that! Or perhaps I live on the wrong side without even knowing it! Who is not speaking to me, I wonder, because of where I live? To what privileges do I not have access? Thank you, Mr Maynard, for bringing it to my attention!)I object to the photograph because for anyone who has suffered stillbirths, the death of a full-term foetus, or the agony of repeatedly trying and failing to conceive a child, this very public display of grief is a constant reminder of bitter suffering. For some, grief is private, and should remain private. We do not need or want Mrs Winter to remind us so constantly or blatantly of our sorrow. I can obviously understand Mrs Winter's desire to commemorate her stillborn baby. If she wants a shrine, why not have one in her own home? We all have shrines in our hearts - why doesn't she set up a corner of garden or house so that her children can always remember their brother? (My children, who use the church and the churchyard regularly, were distressed by the picture, particularly knowing the story behind it.)Also, please don't vilify Mrs Millward. No-one works harder for Churchill than she does - or works harder for the church of which she is churchwarden, or for the church's attendees to whom she is a constant friend. She was representing, as she should, the views of parishioners who also deserve to have their voices heard.A nasty piece of reporting, Mr Maynard - small-minded, mean and biased. A piece of reporting that trades on an understandable grief to sow dissension in a village that has been a happy one, that publicly accuses a hard-working group of people of snobbery - such an easy accusation every time someone objects to any decision - and that does nothing to relieve an acute grief, or to solve the issue.It's obvious that your reporter was piqued by the (perfectly understandable) decision to exclude him from the meeting at which this was discussed, so he muck-raked until he could put an unpleasant, scandal-mongering article together. How we should all tremble at the power of the almighty press ... we exclude them from our lives at peril of vilification ....Will you publish (in full) this, a dissenting view? Or do I have no right to express it?NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIEDEDITOR'S NOTE: We totally reject the view that our handling of this story has been 'small-minded, mean and biased'. We accept that many people support the parish council's decision. Having carefully reviewed our reports over several weeks we are satisfied that we have been fair to both sides. The suggestion of snobbery was a quote, not an example of bias.