Our churchyards

Making arrangements for the last resting place for loved ones is an important and often emotionally charged responsibility. We are fortunate that we are still able to offer burial or interment of cremated remains of parishioners or those on the electoral roll (others at the discretion of the Vicar), in consecrated ground in each of our three churches. Please contact the Vicar in the first instance.

Our churchyards are part of our Christian faith and heritage; we have graves dating back several hundred years and we take a long view of our responsibilities.

Christian burial in a churchyard must always be reverent and we seek to maintain our churchyards as places of peace, dignity and respect to allow space for memory and reflection for current and future generations. In order to maintain this we apply standards for the good of all, so do please read on and ensure you understand what is possible.

After the funeral

Many people wish to place a memorial to mark the grave of a loved one, and the first anniversary of the death is a good time to think about this. Advance written permission is required to introduce any item other than fresh flowers to the churchyard.

The Diocesan Churchyard Regulations – exist to maintain the highest possible standards and to guide those charged with making sensitive decisions. The Vicar has delegated authority to approve memorials that comply with these regulations, which describe the type of memorial that is permitted and the method of applying for permission to mark a grave.

Outside this authority it is sometimes possible to obtain legal dispensation 'a faculty' for a different style of memorial if it has "outstanding merit". This is requires an application to the Chancellor of the Diocese, and payment of an additional fee. This will take longer than a standard application because the Chancellor will wish to consult the PCC.

All local stonemasons are aware of the detail of the regulations and are able to offer advice and guidance on suitability, and the application process. To ensure that the memorial is properly and safely installed, it may only be installed by members of the National Association of Memorial Masons.

After a burial the grave needs to be kept level to enable safe grass cutting and maintenance. We prefer graves to be levelled and grassed over as this helps to keep the churchyard tidy. Fresh flowers are encouraged, and we permit bulbs and flowering annual plants to be introduced without permission. Other items are not permitted, and the PCC may remove dead and artificial flowers and any other items/memorials.

Maintenance of churchyards through the centuries is a considerable task for Parishes and much of the work is done by volunteers. We seek your understanding and assistance to achieve a fair balance between the need to present a peaceful and uncluttered space for visitors (both now and in centuries to come) ease the task of maintenance and the wishes of families to commemorate the persons they loved – and continue to love.