Graveyard Regulations

ST. PAUL'S. CHURCH YARD - Rules & Guidelines

To help families create a suitable memorial for their loved ones.

People regularly get themselves into awkward situations in our Churchyard. It's all too easy to do, without ever meaning to do it. That's because what can and cannot be done in the Churchyard is carefully controlled by a number of national laws and regulations as well as by regulations and policies made by the Bishop and Chancellor of our Diocese and by our own Parochial Church Council. It can get quite complicated.

The best way forward is to ask the Vicar for guidance when you begin to think about having work done on a grave in the Churchyard. The need for asking for guidance and for permission to carry out work is something that the Vicar stresses to families when he is personally involved in conducting burials. This need is also known to other ministers as well as to funeral directors and stone masons and they, too, should mention this to families they are involved with. However, the Vicar does appreciate that this advice can easily be forgotten by people who are in the middle of coming to terms with a death in the family. Nevertheless, by remembering to take the simple precaution of seeking his guidance, getting into an unhappy and distressing situation can be avoided.


Headstones and small stone commemorative pots are allowed in the Churchyard. But there are regulations that govern even these! And proper permission always has to be obtained before any headstone or pot can be put on a grave.

We also ask that families would not place potted plants/flowers into graves, this causes upset when weed killer is placed and grass cutting takes place. We also discourage families putting toys or personal property for this causes upset when they are taken or stolen

Perhaps the main thing to remember is that the land, including all the grave spaces, belongs to the Church. A grave does not become the property of the family of the person buried there. So families of the deceased are not entitled to carry out work on a grave, or have work carried out on their behalf, without getting the proper permission first.

Undertakers or Monumental Masons may show you brochures containing many various shaped headstones that are now available. It is unlikely that anything other than traditional shapes will be allowed. Many of these newer concepts contravene Church of England Regulations

We hope and pray that the place where you will rest your loved one will be a suitable memorial to their life and a space for your recollections and memories. Our aim at St Paul’s Church is to help that be true for all families who have lost loved ones.

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