Parochial Church Council (PCC)
1. This document describes the Parochial Church Council’s (PCC) policy with regard to burial or interment of ashes in the churchyard. It is based upon the Chancellor of the Diocese of Chichester’s General Directions in respect of the erection of monuments, the planting of trees and the use of the Garden of Remembrance.
Fees and Authorities
2. Charges for burial/interment will be levied at the statutory rate set by the Church of England and any additional fees set by the PCC. All fees are payable by the date of the burial or interment.
3. By seeking to use consecrated ground, the bereaved must be aware that they are also submitting to the jurisdiction of the consistory court in all matters, including the conduct of the service and the marking of the grave.
Right of Burial or Interment
4. The right of burial or interment is not restricted to the baptized, or to regular members of the congregation. Specific burial places may not be reserved, although a particular request will be considered by the Rector. The churchyard is reserved for the following:
a. Persons resident in the Parish.
b. Persons whose names are on the church electoral roll of the Parish.
c. Persons dying in the Parish.
d. Persons not meeting the above criteria may be buried or interred in a family grave, provided the capacity exists.
5. Following burial, a headstone may be erected, or amended, but must be in accordance with the Chancellor’s Directions.
6. Ashes must be placed in a bio-degradable bag, or poured into the plot. Caskets are not permitted. The place of interment of ashes may be marked by a small flat plaque, lying flush with the ground level, again subject to the Chancellor’s Directions.
7. Trees may only be planted exceptionally and with the prior approval of the PCC
Use of the Garden of Remembrance
8. The Garden of Remembrance is also intended for the interment of ashes of those listed at paragraph 4 and, depending upon the actual circumstances, particularly to assist the bereaved, for those without such Parish connections. Ashes interred in the Garden of Remembrance are not marked by a plaque or headstone, but can be recorded in the Book of Remembrance in the Church.
9. There may be special reasons to vary this policy, or make exceptions to it. However, such variations from it may only be approved by the Rector, who will also take into account the Church’s wider responsibilities for pastoral care.
10. These may involve, despite the right at paragraph 4, consideration of any particularly outstanding contribution an individual may have made to the Parish. They may also involve consideration of individuals with historical links to the Parish. Given the sensitivity of this issue, the policy must allow a degree of flexibility.
11. However, the Rector will consider all exceptions jointly with the PCC, having due regard to the needs of the Parish and past precedent. No variation will be applied during any Interregnum and, if necessary, the advice of the Rural Dean will be sought.
12. In the case of any dispute which cannot be resolved locally, the escalation route is to the Area Bishop via the Archdeacon of Hastings.