Holy Trinity and its Churchyard are important features of our village. The Churchyard is an historic record of successive generations, a home for monuments of architectural and aesthetic excellence, a setting for the Church itself, and a place for reflection and prayer.
Like our beautiful ancient Church, we are temporary custodians of the Churchyard, responsible for its care and maintenance. In order to pass on this heritage to future generations, permission has to be obtained for burials and memorials, and indeed for everything that is introduced into a churchyard. A Churchyard is different in its nature from a municipal cemetery, and different laws apply. This page explains a little about our Churchyard but if you have further questions, do contact us.
Who can be buried ?
Every parishioner has a right to be buried, or have their ashes buried, in their Churchyard. Unlike a civil cemetery, the graves in a Churchyard do do not belong to the family.
It is not possible to reserve graves.
To maintain the Churchyard as place of tranquillity, reflection and prayer the Diocese have regulations about what is and is not allowed.
We ask that graves are kept tidy and only natural flowers are laid on graves - artificial flowers are not allowed and regrettably will be removed. Any items which might be considered dangerous, such as bottles of alcohol which might then be consumed by children, will also be removed. We cannot allow stones or chippings as they make it difficult to mow the grass.
The planting of trees and shrubs can only be done with permission, and the introduction of a bench requires the permission of the Archdeacon.
Whilst headstones can be erected permission must be sought. For simple headstones (which conform to Diocesan regulations) the Vicar can grant this permission. For headstones that fall outside the Diocesan regulations, permission must be granted by the Chancellor of the Diocese, through the granting of a faculty.
Your stonemason should be able to advise on appropriate memorials and the application process. However, you are welcome to talk to the Vicar before commissioning a stone. To avoid expensive mistakes, please make sure that your stonemason has signed permission before they order the stone.
When considering a headstone, it can be a good idea to wander around the Churchyard to look at the existing memorials in order to get an idea of what is allowed and how different types of stone wear over time. (Please be aware that the regulations have changed slightly over the years and so there are some memorials which in the past the Vicar has been able to authorise but would now require a faculty).
Care of our Graveyard
A Churchyard is not only a haven for us humans as we enjoy its surroundings. It is also a haven for wildlife and wild flowers. A vital area for birds, butterflies, flowers, bees, etc. it provides shelter for animals and allows wild flowers to seed.
Caring for wildlife whilst providing a suitably neat and tidy place for modern graves is a tension we seek to manage.
In the spring and summer months, some grass in less used parts of the Churchyard is deliberately left uncut so that the area can support a wide variety of wildlife and flowers. These areas are not just being neglected. They are cut once a year, usually around July.