Churchyard policy

The only persons who have a right to be buried in our churchyard are those who:

• currently live in the ecclesiastical parish of Elkstone, or

• have died here, or

• worship regularly in the church and have earned the right to be on the electoral roll. This means worshipping once a month for six months before the roll is drawn up and have kept up the worship.

Other persons may be buried in the churchyard only with the approval of the priest in charge and the churchwardens who, if necessary, will refer the request to the PCC.

The PCC will be sympathetic towards applications on behalf of those who have recently moved out of Elkstone parish to obtain appropriate care in old age.

In exceptional cases, ashes may be interred in the burial plot of their family member assuming the rest of the family are in agreement.

Grave allocation will be by the priest-in-charge and churchwardens in consultation with the family.

The grave will be dug in accordance with the grave-diggers instructions:

• the head of the grave will be temporarily marked by a small square slab inserted in the grass. This is where the headstone is to be positioned. The foot of the coffin will be East of the slab.

• The grave will be filled-in immediately after the interment. The grave may be moulded to a degree to allow for compaction. All excess spoil and stone must be removed out of the churchyard and taken away. On no account must any spoil or stone be dumped anywhere else in the churchyard including hedges.

• After compaction the grave will be levelled and seeded to facilitate grass-cutting.

• Great care must be taken to avoid damage to the wildflower meadow. For example, mechanical diggers must take a route well away from the wildflower meadow.

The headstone is to be in accordance with the Churchyard Regulations as published on the Diocese of Gloucester’s website.

The churchyard plan is to be copied and retained by the priest-in-charge, churchwardens and inside the burial register. The plan need only record those graves that are currently visible.

Any issues over interpretation of the above wording will be settled by the priest-in -charge making a recommendation to the PCC for approval.

This policy was approved by Elkstone PCC on 25th January 2020

Elkstone_-_churchyard_policy, PDF