Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 15:42 UK

Wimbledon fans park in graveyard

Cars parked at St Mary's Chuech
St Mary's has offered the parking service for many years

A church has stopped allowing people going to the Wimbledon tennis championships to park on top of graves.

St Mary's Church in Wimbledon Village, south-west London had been charging £20 a day to park in its cemetery. The money goes to three charities.

The church said cars were allowed to park on the graves of people whose descendants cannot be traced but this year some were put in wrong places.

Parking in the graveyard has now been stopped as a result.

Speaking to BBC London 94.9FM, Melanie from Balham, who parked in the cemetery, said: "We were told: 'Go and reverse between these gravestones'.

"I thought: 'This is very odd'. But we did it and went to Wimbledon."

A spokesman for St Mary's Wimbledon, which is less than a mile from Centre Court, said: "Over many years, during the Wimbledon championships, the parish of St Mary's Wimbledon has offered this service to the public.

"Each year three designated charities benefit from some of the money raised by allowing the cars to park and the rest goes towards work within the parish.

"Sadly, this year, some cars were parked in inappropriate places. St Mary's is investigating to see how this happened and no further car parking will be allowed in the churchyard.

"The vicar of St Mary's is sorry for any offence that has been caused."

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