Guidance on Churches and Churchyards

In the first section we deal with a wide range of legal issues which affect churches and churchyards. The first section includes a summary of the general legal position about churchyards which will be of particular relevance to Incumbents Churchwardens and PCCs, and local authorities; but any person who is seeking to understand what might or might not be permissible in a churchyard should read the Guidance provided.

The second contains information about the faculty system which is geared particularly towards clergy and parishes.

The third section is particularly intended to assist clergy and private individuals with specific information for private individuals faculty petitions concerning

  • specific memorials (which the Incumbent is unable or unwilling to authorise under the standard application form within the Churchyard Regulations),
  • reservations of grave spaces in churchyards,
  • burials of cremated remains in closed churchyards, and
  • the exhumation of remains from churchyards

The fourth section includes notes which may be of assistance to local authorities concerning their position in relation to closed churchyards, and to consecrated areas of cemeteries for which they are the burial authority.

The Public Notices section contains the notices where the Registrar or Chancellor have directed that in addition to ordinary notice at the Church etc., formal notice should be given under Rule 9.9 of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015, through publication on the Diocesan Website.

The Judgments of the Consistory Court section contains judicial decisions made by the Chancellor. Requests for authorisation are made to the Chancellor of the Consistory Court by a formal Petition. Please note in particular that if the Chancellor issues a formal Judgment in relation to your Petition, then, because the Consistory Court is a public, civil, Court, the Judgment will be published on this web site and that of the Ecclesiastical Law Association, and may well be published in law reports, and other places. Members of the public including the media have access to the Judgments of the Consistory Court, and are free to publish details which appear in the Judgment. The purpose of publication of Judgments is to explain to the public how decisions have been reached in particular cases and so as to assist the public in understanding the legal issues at stake; it also ensures transparency.


Page last updated: Tuesday 9th November 2021 4:52 PM
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