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Interment in the Churchyard

Christ Church Churchyard, Manor Road

Interment in the Churchyard is one option – but you will need to be sure that it is the right option for you. It may be hard, at the moment of bereavement, to think ahead, but once the interment has taken place, the resting place is final.

Churchyards are governed by Legal Regulations and the overall requirement is that they should be simple, plain and quiet places. Christ Church Churchyard is unusual because it is half a mile away from the church – but it is still a Churchyard and it is governed by the same Legal Regulations that govern every other Church of England Churchyard.

Interment in the Churchyard

Because interment is not just a personal occasion, it is important to understand the legalities. The following broad outline of the regulations applies to both burials and to the interment of ashes.

  • If the deceased person lived in the Parish of South Ossett at the time of their death, they have a right for their remains to be interred in Christ Church Churchyard.
  • If the deceased person had moved away from the Parish of South Ossett, or had never lived here, then interment is by permission only.

Whether a loved one is interred by right, or by permission:

  • Interments take the next available space.
  • It is not possible for the next of kin to purchase a plot and no plot is owned by the next of kin or by their heirs. Fees relate only to the process of interment and to cover Churchyard Maintenance. These fees are set nationally each year and they are the Churchyard’s only source of funding.
  • No one has a right to erect a monument; that is entirely by permission – as is any inscription on the monument.
  • All proposed monuments must be simple and plain, with no reflecting finish and inscriptions must be simple and reverent.
  • Spring flowering bulbs may be planted in the turf of any grave (providing they do not interfere with Churchyard maintenance) and cut flowers are always welcome but no other items may be added to any plot.

Families should also be aware that all of the above regulations apply to subsequent interments in existing graves. An existing grave does not confer any right of ownership because it is not possible for the next of kin to own a plot.

The main difference between a Churchyard and a Cemetery

Cemeteries are provided by the Local Authority. They have their own regulations about memorials and about what other items may, or may not, be left on each plot. The main difference is that when you inter a loved one in a cemetery, you purchase (and therefore own) the plot. This is usually for a specific period of time but may (usually) be renewed.

The Churchyard Regulations

If you would like to study the Churchyard Regulations in detail, they can be downloaded from the Diocesan Website: click here for the hyperlink.

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Christ Church South Ossett, Vicar Lane, Ossett, WF5 0BE

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Christ Church: Serving South Ossett, in the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales

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