Churchyards and Memorials
Our churchyards are special places which exist for the Christian burials of parishioners. Because they are shared spaces, churchyards need to be looked after for the benefit of today's generations as well as those to follow. The Diocese of Ely Churchyard Regulations seek to encourage good practices in order to create and maintain a place of peace, dignity and respect for the departed.
Parishioners have a right to be buried in the churchyard of the parish church if one exists and has not been closed. The incumbent also has discretion to grant permission for the burial of other persons in the churchyard. The incumbent has the right to decide where in the churchyard a particular burial or internment may take place, except where a specific place has been formally reserved. However, a burial space can only be reserved by faculty. Further information is available from the Diocesan Registry here: http://www.elydiocesanregistry.co.uk/faculty-jurisdiction/graves.
There is no automatic or legal right to place a memorial in a churchyard, but we seek to meet your wishes as far as possible within the regulations that are set out before us. The vicar is only able to authorise memorials that meet the criteria set out in the regulations. Any departure from the Churchyard Regulations requires permission by way of a faculty. Further information can be found on the Diocesan Registry's website. Further information can be obtained by contacting the vicar or Diocese of Ely Church Buildings Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidance and rules governing the upkeep of our churchyards can be downloaded from the links below.
Any application for a churchyard memorial must before approved before they can be erected or altered. You can download an application form here.
Further information is available in the Diocese of Ely website.
We are only able to accept and process applications for Tablets and Memorial Stones after the burial has taken place. This also meets the legal requirement that any memorial stone, whether for ashes or body, should only be introduced six months after burial. Prior to a memorial stone being erected, a small temporary wooden cross may be used to mark a grave (subject to approval).
We understand that there may be a need for a memorial stone to be removed from a churchyard for repair or additional work. However, we ask that where this is necessary, permission is sought from us first as this also needs to be approved. This is to reduce the distress caused to other families and visitors to the churchyard.