CHURCHGOERS in Oakley attended a dedication service for a garden of remembrance built on the site of a demolished church.

More than 100 people turned out for the service on Saturday at the garden in St John’s Road.

St John’s Church was demolished earlier this year following a review by Winchester Diocese and The Church Commissioners in London.

It was built in 1914 as a satellite church for Oakley’s St Leonard’s Church but was made redundant in June 2009 due to a dwindling congregation.

The dedication service was led by The Right Reverend Peter Hancock, Bishop of Basingstoke, and assisted by the Rev Jeremy Vaughan, rector of Oakley with Wootton, and assistant minister the Rev Carole Vaughan.

Also there was Sir George Young, MP for North West Hampshire, and borough mayor Councillor Martin Biermann and his wife Chansopha.

Mr Vaughan told The Gazette : “The new garden of remembrance is intended to provide a place where people can find peace, remember their loved ones and meet with God. This has been an unusual task which has been completed through the skill and care of many people in the parish and in the Diocese of Winchester.”

The new garden contains a simple cross in paved stone and contains more space for burials. A war memorial has been refurbished and relocated to where the altar used to be in the church.