English Cemetry today
By Chris Chaplow and Robina Lowry
The cemetery used to be owned by the British government. As no funds had been provided for its upkeep for many years, local Protestants worked hard to find a solution. While recognising the cemetery as an important part of the city's history, the Malaga Town Hall was also reluctant to devote more than minimal funds to it.
On 21st June 2006 the 'English Cemetery in Malaga Foundation' was formally established. The President is the British Consul in Malaga and its Executive Board comprises three Spaniards, three Britons, one German and one Italian, and includes three members of St George's Church. The church itself, in the centre of the cemetery, is looked after by the Anglican Chaplaincy of Saint George, Malaga.
Friends of the Cemetry
The group "Friends of the English Cemetery at Málaga" was founded to support the English Cemetery at Malaga Foundation, a non-profit organization, in its efforts to preserve, maintain and promote the historical and cultural heritage of the Cemetery. All new members will receive a copy of the book "The English Cemetery at Málaga" written by Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson and also enjoy other benefits. Minimum annual membership donation is 20€. More info at www.cementerioinglesmalaga.org
In 1991, the cemetery gardener, Antonio Alcaide, was awarded an OBE for a life dedicated to the care of it. This work had been carried out not only by his ancestors but was also continued by his son. The cemetery gatehouse, for many years the home of the cemetery gardener, was beautifully renovated in 2005 and now houses a shop where a wide variety of gifts including pot plants are on sale. And John Hallybone, a dedicated gardener also works tirelessly to keep the cemetery neat and tidy.
A flourishing yew tree, described on a plaque as ". . . planted on 2nd January 2000 to celebrate the millennium and . . . a gift from St Paul's Cathedral, London", is an impostor from a garden centre in Henley-on-Thames. The real tree, which should have gone on to survive for hundreds of years, died. It was one of 7,000 chosen by naturalist David Bellamy and blessed by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres. Brought to Malaga by John and Peggy Carswell, worshippers at the chaplaincy, they had seen the trees on a visit to St Paul's in 1999 and had asked the Bishop whether they could take one home to Spain.
Protecting the tombsSome of the early mortar and shell graves were in a terrible state of repair. In early 2015 they were covered in a mortar for protection. Observers have complained about this work and the foundation admited not having sought Junta de Andalucia permission as a BIC listed place. A decision is awaited on how best to preserve these early graves. See Dario Sur.