Rules of the Churchyard


There is no automatic right to erect a monument (or headstone) and application must be made in writing, in the first instance to the Vicar.

No memorial or inscriptions shall be added without permission in writing.

Straight forward applications for monuments and inscriptions clearly falling within these rules and Diocesan Guidelines may be authorised by the Vicar.

Where authority of a Faculty is required this must be made to the Registrar of the Diocese (contact details are available from the Vicar).

An appropriate period of time is to be allowed after a burial takes place prior to the installation of a headstone; usually one year.

  • Materials: All memorials should be made of natural stone or of hardwood. Stones that reflect the texture and colour of the local buildings are preferred.
    No stone shall be wholly polished.
    It is permissible to use black, blue or red granites, or granites neither darker than Rustenburg grey nor white. Synthetic stone or plastic are not permitted. Railings, chippings, chains or glass shades are not permitted.
  • Size: The memorial shall not be bigger than the following dimensions:
    Height 1200mm, Width 900mm and 150mm thick.
  • Base and foundation Slab: If a base is to be allowed it should be made of material matching the memorial itself and shall not project more than 100mm in any direction except where a receptacle for flowers is provided in which case this may be extended to 200mm in front of the headstone
  • Shape: Headstones shall be rectangular in design, curved tops are preferred rather than straight-edged tops.
    Memorials in other shapes, for example, a heart or book are not permitted. 2
  • Photographs: Photographs and images of the deceased attached to the memorial are not allowed.
  • Etching: Designs etched onto the memorial which are in keeping with the Christian ethos of the churchyard will be given consideration.
  • Kerbstones, chippings etc.: Kerbs, rails, chains, chippings and glass shades are not allowed.
  • Inscriptions: The Vicar is authorised by the Chancellor to permit wording that is, “simple and reverent”.
  • Trademarks: No advertisement or trademark shall be inscribed onto a memorial. The mason’s name may be inscribed at the side or on the reverse of the headstone in unpainted and unleaded letters no larger than 15mm in height.
  • Additional inscriptions: After a subsequent burial an additional inscription to the memorial may be made.
    Any such addition should be authorised by the Vicar in writing and shall be consistent in letter, layout and wording with the original inscription.

Flowers and other objects

  • Plants and flowers: Bulbs may be planted in the ground of the grave.
    Plants and flowers may be placed either in an integral container or a removable container (this should be completely sunk into the ground)
    When planting bulbs and plants, please remember that the grass cutting in the churchyard and leave easy access for the grass cutter between and around the graves.
  • Wreaths and flowers may be laid on a grave – and removed when withered.
  • Artificial flowers may be placed into containers at the foot of the headstone.
    The use of “hard plastic” artificial flowers and other decorative items on graves is discouraged.
    Christmas wreaths placed on graves are to be removed by the end of January.
    The use of toys and all other such objects is discouraged.
    Balloons of any kind are not permitted and if placed will be removed. 


The Chancellor’s directions regarding all care and planting of trees must be followed and are to be found in the DAC guidelines for the care of churchyards, Information Paper No.3.

Repair and removal of memorials

The repair of memorials is the responsibility of the family concerned, but the Parochial Church Council may act if the family cannot be traced or will not act.

Action shall be taken if a memorial becomes unsafe (for example laying down a tall headstone which is leaning dangerously.

No memorial may be removed without a Faculty.

Spacing of graves

The spacing between the centre lines of each grave shall be not more than 2.74m(9ft.) The plot width and length of each grave shall be not more than 2.74m(9ft.)

Cremated Remains

The interment of cremated remains in a casket is a burial and is not within the scope of a faculty authorising the deposit of remains. They are to be buried in the part of the churchyard designated for that purpose, or in a family’s grave.

Commemoration after Cremation

A memorial stone may be permitted on the site of the burial of cremated remains in the section of the Church designated for that purpose.


Vicar and Parochial Church Council, February 2016

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