Churchyard Burials and Burial of Cremated Remains
ST MARY’S CHURCHYARD
The churchyard is available for burials and a part of it has been set aside for the burial of ashes.  If you wish to arrange either for a burial or for the burial of ashes it is essential that you talk to the vicar in the first instance.  You are also advised to read The Churchyard Handbook, prepared by the Chelmsford Diocese, which is a helpful guide to the rules relating to burials, cremated remains and other churchyard matters.  A copy of this booklet is available in the church porch.  A churchyard is consecrated or holy ground and you are asked to respect that.

WHO IS ALLOWED TO BE BURIED IN THE CHURCHYARD?

The following are allowed to be buried in the churchyard or to have their ashes interred there:

Anyone who was a parishioner of Widdington at the time of their death;
Anyone who died in the parish;
Anyone whose name was on Widdington Church electoral roll at the time of their death;
A deceased person who has lived in the parish for many years and only moved away for reasons of age or ill health;
Anyone with a relative’s grave already in the churchyard may have his or her ashes interred in that grave.
Other people’s ashes may in special circumstances be interred at Widdington with the permission of the vicar and after consultation with the churchwarden.
 
BURIAL OF ASHES 

A Garden of Remembrance is set aside for the burial of ashes behind the Church.  Ashes may not be buried or scattered anywhere else in the churchyard.  The only exception is when a person’s cremated remains may be interred in a grave containing the body of a relative of that person.
A small hole is dug in an allocated plot in the Garden and the ashes are interred.  The vicar may conduct a short service.  The names and dates of the deceased may if the relatives of the deceased so wish be inscribed on a slate in the adjacent wall at the expense of the relatives.  No other memorial, vase, statuary etc is allowed, either on the wall or in the ground.  Cut flowers may be laid in the garden or placed in the vases sunk into the ground at the base of the wall.  You may not plant flowers, shrubs or trees, or use artificial flowers. For the safety of the maintenance people no glass or breakable containers and objects to be used. No artificial flowers. These will be removed.  Please consult the undertaker or those named at the end of this leaflet. 
The Garden is maintained by Widdington Parochial Church Council and offers of practical or financial help towards its upkeep are welcomed.

BURIALS

Burial space is still available at the time of writing in the churchyard for those eligible in the categories aforementioned.  You will be told via the undertaker whereabouts the grave will be dug.

No vase, statuary etc is allowed; Cut flowers may be laid or placed in the vases sunk into the ground.  You may not plant flowers, shrubs or trees, or use artificial flowers. For the safety of the maintenance people no glass or breakable containers and objects to be used. No artificial flowers. These will be removed.  Please consult the undertaker or those named at the end of this leaflet. 

WHAT MEMORIALS ARE PERMITTED?

Current rules for gravestones, their size, type of stone, wording, decoration etc, are set out in The Churchyard Handbook mentioned at the start of this sheet.  There is no legal right to place a memorial over a grave and permission has to be obtained from the church in each case.  Permission is not granted until six months after a burial so no application for a memorial should be made and no order should be placed with a stonemason until the design, wording etc have been approved.  Widdington Parochial Church Council has the right to remove from the churchyard any items that are not permitted.

WHO MAINTAINS THE GRAVES?
  
Maintenance of a gravestone is the responsibility of the family of the deceased.
Cut flowers may be laid on the graves. You may not plant flowers, shrubs or trees, or use artificial flowers. For the safety of the maintenance people no glass or breakable containers and objects to be used. No artificial flowers. These will be removed.
Christmas and memorial Wreaths and Remembrance poppies are welcome but will be removed after one month.
  
IS THERE A CHARGE?

Yes.  There are fees for:
The burial of ashes and inscription and insertion of slate in the Garden of Remembrance wall.
Burials and the erection of a gravestone are normally managed by the funeral director.

 
CONTACTS
If you have any further questions please contact the vicar or church warden.