Saint Nicholas’ Church, Deeping St Nicholas: Churchyard Policy
Our Churchyard is an important and valued part of our Church life and the heritage of our community. It remains open to the public at all times. It is our desire to work with the Diocese of Lincoln, the families of those interred in our local churchyard and the local community to ensure that it is maintained and a resource for future generations.
The Churchyard is consecrated ground and as such are governed by the rules defined by the Diocese of Lincoln. This policy runs alongside the Churchyard Regulations 1988 (Updated 2012)
In a consecrated Churchyard, provided there is space available and the Churchyard has not been closed, the following people have the right to be buried in the Churchyard of the Parish Church:
Any person dying in the Parish, wherever that person resides.
Any person whose name is on the Electoral Roll of the Parish at the time of their death.
No other person can be buried in the Churchyard without the consent of the incumbent. If the incumbent declines to allow the burial of a person who has no right of burial as defined above, the incumbent’s decision is final.
There is no right of burial in any part of the Churchyard. The selection of grave space is for the incumbent to allocate.
Reservation of a Grave Space
It is not possible to purchase a grave, only to reserve a grave space for a time limited period which is 25 years.
The Parish Policy is not to allow the reserving of a grave space for burial or interment of Ashes.
However, a faculty application may be granted in exceptional circumstances. Faculties are only granted after assurances are given of available space and evidence of support of the incumbent and the PCC that an exception to the stated policy exists.
If a faculty is granted the incumbent cannot grant or assure anyone of a right to burial in a place in the Churchyard.
Cremated remains may be buried in either an existing grave or in a specific area set aside for the burial of cremated remains in St Nicholas Deeping.
Burial of ashes in an existing grave will be permitted on a case by case basis depending on the room in the grave and the connection between deceased and the Person(s) already buried in the grave.
Cremated remains should be reverently poured into a specially prepared hole, or buried in a wooden casket.
The scattering of cremated remains onto the surface of the earth is not permitted.
The parish does not allow any marking of a plot where cremated remains have been buried other than with a York Stone tablet in accordance with Diocesan guidelines.
If cremated remains are interred in an existing grave a separate memorial or tablet is not permitted, though an inscription may be added to an existing memorial after authorisation is given.
Ownership of the Churchyard
The ownership of the Churchyard is vested in the incumbent for use of the Parishioners. (Where there is a vacancy the ownership is vested in the Diocesan Bishop)
The exercise of the right of burial, interment of cremated remains, the reservation of a grave space by faculty, the erection of a memorial does not confer any rights of ownership upon the relatives of the deceased person or upon any other person’s in respect of the Churchyard itself.
Our Churchyard is large and complex to maintain. We aim to strike a balance between ensuring the Churchyard is well kept and looked after, whilst having consideration to the provision of areas for wildlife to flourish in suitable areas.
The Parochial Church Council will devise and maintain a management plan for the Churchyard. The maintenance is controlled by the PCC.
Maintenance of trees and shrubs in the churchyard is the responsibility of the PCC and they will ensure that they are safe. Steps will be taken to remedy unsafe and dangerous trees within the Churchyard.
No tree or shrub may be planted in the Churchyard without explicit permission of the incumbent or chair of the PCC.
The regulations state:
No individual garden maybe erected, or tree or shrub planted on or adjacent to a grave.
Only cut flowers or wreaths maybe left at the graveside. These must be removed when withered or decaying. No plastic or artificial flowers are permitted except for Remembrance Day Poppies and wreaths.
Any objects left at the grave but not authorised by faculty or regulations must be removed and returned to the relatives as soon as possible.
Approved By Saint Nicholas’ Church Parochial Church Council
Review Date 12th July 2018