This website has been archived

Care of Churches

Chancellor's Guidance on Churchyards & Memorials

Instrument authorising Ministers to approve the introduction of memorials into churchyards

1. Subject to paragraph 5, the minister may approve the introduction into a churchyard of any memorial, provided that the memorial is in accordance with the relevant regulations.

2. "The relevant regulations" means:

(a) the Churchyard Regulations applying specifically to the churchyard concerned; or

(b) if there are no Churchyard Regulations in force, the Diocesan Churchyard Regulations set out in the Appendix; and

"minister" means the incumbent of the parish in which the churchyard is situated or, where rights of presentation are suspended, the curate licensed to the charge of that parish or the minister acting as priest-in-charge.

3. The minister may adopt Churchyard Regulations relating to one or more of the churchyards in his or her care, provided that:

(a) they comply with the principles contained within the current edition of the document issued by the Chancellor entitled Churchyard Memorials etc. Chancellor's Guidance; and

(b) they have been approved by the Parochial Church Council, the Archdeacon, the Diocesan Advisory Committee and the Chancellor;

and two or more ministers may jointly adopt Churchyard Regulations so as to apply to two or more of the churchyards in their care, subject to the same provisos.

4. Subject to paragraph 5, following a second or subsequent burial in a plot on which there is an existing lawfully erected memorial, the minister in whom is vested the freehold of the churchyard concerned may approve the alteration of that memorial to incorporate the name and other details of the newly buried person.

5. The minister shall not approve the introduction or alteration of any memorial if he or she considers that it:

(a) does not comply with the principles set out in the relevant regulations;

(b) is likely to be controversial for some reason; or

(c) is in any way inappropriate.

6. The authorisation given by paragraphs 1 and 4 shall not be delegated by the minister to any other person, save that, during a vacancy in the living or in case of emergency, the authorisation may be exercised by the Archdeacon.

7. The authorisation given by paragraphs 1 and 4 may be withdrawn at any time by the Chancellor in relation to any minister, or all or any part of any churchyard, or any particular memorial or category of memorials, following consultation with the Archdeacon.

CHARLES GEORGE QC

CHANCELLOR

The Feast of Pentecost

8 June 2003