LEADERS of a village church where the graveyard is almost full are seeking permission to bury the dead in an adjoining field.

The churchyard at All Saints' Church, Nynehead, has almost totally run out of space, with a recent funeral seeing one of the last remaining grave plots taken up.

The parochial church council has now applied to Somerset West and Taunton Council for a change of use permission for an agricultural field.

It wants to convert Church Field, which it owns and where sheep graze, into a cemetery.

If permission is granted, a bishop would have to consecrate the land off Chipley Road ahead of any burials there.

All Saints' PCC secretary Timothy Sylvester Jones said: "The field is an extension to the existing churchyard, which is basically full.

"One of the last grave spaces was taken up at a recent burial and we're struggling to find more spaces for the future of the community.

"The grass field is used to graze sheep and is sometimes used as an overflow car park.

"If permission is granted , the land will be consecrated to make it holy land."

All Saints' Church dates from Domesday times in the 11th Century and since then hundreds of local people have been buried in the churchyard.

There are also a number of historic monuments, including a dole table, where food was left out for the poor people of the parish.

There is also an upping stone, which enabled worshippers to mount their horses which had been tied up in the churchyard during services.

There are also the remains of a churchyard cross.

"It's a beautiful church and there are a number of historic monuments," said Mr Sylvester Jones.

"The church is currently closed while a new heating system is being installed with the aid of a grant from Viridor."

Church Field historically had a church house where the parish sexton, whose job was to look after the church, would live. The home was demolished a couple of hundred years ago.