If you would like to find out about arranging a
baptism, wedding or funeral
please contact us either by telephone on 01380 816963
or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
N.B Baptisms are free for any family. Priority will be given to those living within the parishes, so that children can grow up within their local congregation. If you don’t live in one of these parishes, please contact your local church in the first instance. They should be more than welcoming of you and your child.
Guidelines for Families on Churchyard Matters
The marking of the place of burial is extremely important; it not only gives due respect to the departed, but for many people is an important focus within the grieving process and beyond.
A churchyard is a place of Christian burial and as such it is right that we are sensitive to the tradition and nature of the churchyard, which is different in some respects from that of a local authority cemetery.
Anyone who lives or dies in the parish or whose name is on the electoral roll of the parish has a right to be buried in the parish churchyard. No-one else can be buried there without the consent of the minister and PCC. Usually some significant connection between the person and the parish would be needed.
Churchyards provide areas of peaceful reflection and prayer for the bereaved and for the wider community and must be easily maintainable by volunteers in the parish. As such only certain types of memorials can be permitted.
Under the Churchyard Regulations the Rector can permit certain types of memorial.
The parish priest may give permission for the following
- Headstones not exceeding 150cm x 90cm
- Crosses not exceeding 180 cm high or 90cm wide
- Flat stones not exceeding 150 cm x 90 cm
- Plain open books up to 45 cm high and 75cm wide
- Fixed memorial vases up to 30 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm
- Flat stones over cremated remains up to 30 cm x 37cm
Inscriptions should be simple, dignified and reverent.
The formal application form, filled in when you visit the funeral director or stonemason, gives further details about stone type (which should be natural and non-reflecting).
For several reasons, many of them to do with maintenance and aesthetics, there are some things that the parish priest cannot give permission for
- Kerbs, railings, fencing, chippings
- Heart shaped stones
- Anything fixed or hanging to the monument
- Plastic or synthetic materials
- Any carving other than flora, fauna and small crosses.
Some of these may be allowed, but permission must be gained from the person in the Diocese who has the statutory legal oversight of churchyards.
The following guidelines are designed to help the PCC maintain the churchyard.
- The surface of the churchyard shall be kept, as far as possible, level and free
of grass mounds. The PCC may level any mound at its discretion at any time more than thirteen months after the last internment in the grave.
- Bulbs and small annual plants may be planted in the soil of a grave being within the area previously excavated. Plants or flowers may be placed in a removable sunken container. Unless they are kept tidy the PCC may remove such containers and treat the grave as part of the turf and mow it over.
- Wreaths or cut flowers may be laid direct on any grave or in any vase authorised by these regulations.
- No artificial flower (other than “Silk” flowers i.e. having a mixture of polyester/cotton) may be placed in the churchyard and if they are so placed the PCC may remove them.
- The PCC may remove flowers of whatever kind and wreaths if such flowers and wreaths have wilted or died or otherwise having regard for their state.