A GRAVE which is believed to be more than 100 years old has been damaged in a Reading church.

The grave is located at Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin and the churches verger, Richard, said it is thought to be more than 100 years old.

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Richard, who is responsible for looking after the church building and the minster's volunteers, said it belonged to the Zinzan family who lived in Reading.

A street in the town has also been named after them.

He explained one Sunday morning just after lockdown, they noticed the grave had been damaged and said it was "very sad".

Richard said he doesn't know how the grave was damaged.

He explained: "We can’t be sure what happened.

"It could have collapsed over the years. We can’t be sure. We don’t know.”

The site is a closed graveyard which means no-one has been able to be buried there for years.

When asked whether the council had plans to fix the grave, a spokesperson for the council said it is the responsibility of the family which places them.

They said: “Whilst the council has a remit for the maintenance of churchyards, the memorials themselves are the responsibility of the family which places them.

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"As the majority of memorials are very old, unfortunately it can often be the case that there is little or no family remaining.

“In the case of this memorial, we have carried out investigations and have found no trace of family locally, only the possibility of a very loose connection in London.

"The council follows guidelines set out by the Diocese in trying to trace any family who may have an interest in restoring the memorial, and prior to any work being carried out.

“The deterioration of old gravestones is an issue for every local authority as repairs to tomb memorials can range from £5,000 to £10,000 each, depending on the work needed and the type of memorial.

"Gravestones should be laid flat where they are unsafe and testing of gravestones should take place every 5 years.

"The council continues to be in contact with the Dioceses across Reading about the maintenance of older memorials."