Wigan Reverend speaks out over 'unacceptable' rise in dog fouling in Church grounds

A Wigan church has urged dog owners not to walk their pets in its grounds, after an “unacceptable” rise in dog fouling.
St Wilfrid's in StandishSt Wilfrid's in Standish
St Wilfrid's in Standish

Reverend Andrew Holliday, rector of St Wilfrid’s in Standish, said the increase in incidents of dog mess was quickly becoming “an embarrassment” for the church and its parishioners.

The Rectory Lane church has signs at its yard entrances which state that only guide dogs are allowed in, but it has not stopped some selfish dog walkers from entering and allow their animals to soil the ground where many people have been laid to rest.

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Rev. Holliday said it was “unkind” that a handful of people were not respecting the church’s requests for dogs not to be walked in the yard.

Rev. Holliday at St Wilfrid's'Rev. Holliday at St Wilfrid's'
Rev. Holliday at St Wilfrid's'

He said: “We have some signage at the church yard entrances which says dogs are not allowed, except for guide dogs.

“But what’s happened over the past few months is that more and more regularly, dog owners are bringing their dogs through the church yard.

“Whilst we were talking to the contractors, who look after the yard, they said we’re getting more and more dog mess to sort out. On one day alone, they had 16 amounts of dog dirt to clear.

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“We’ve got this beautiful church yard and we really do try and look after it to the best of our ability and make it a special place for all those whose loved ones are interred in the church yard.

“We try to make it a fitting place to visit. But, regrettably, some dog owners in the locality think that it’s a green space, in which they can freely walk their dogs.”

He went on: “This has been the church council’s decision to ban dogs from coming into the church yard.

“There have been issues before but it suddenly become a real problem. It’s an embarrassment to us.

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“We are just asking people to respect the fact that it is a very special place for so many people, and to respect the fact that we do our best to make it special.

“But some unkind people, regrettably, are just not respecting what we are trying to do, which is maintaining a special resting place for loved ones.

“To have 16 piles of dog dirt to clear up in one day alone, I think is unkind. I find it unacceptable.”

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