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Care of Churches

Chancellor's Guidance on Churchyards & Memorials

Graveyard Records

Each parish is legally required to maintain a record of burials which take place in the churchyard including disposals of cremated remains, though a separate register should be kept for the latter. Both records should list the same information: the full name of the deceased; his or her age and former home address; the date and location of burial; and the name of the officiating minister. In addition the register of interments of cremated remains should record any funeral service and the place of cremation preceding the interment. Maintenance of an up to date plan of the churchyard and of the occupation of gravespaces is an important responsibility. Helpful guidance is contained in appendix 1 to the Churchyards Handbook. The records that parishes make will themselves form important historical documents and should be of a high standard.

The primary responsibility for maintaining church records lies with the churchwardens, but they will need to work closely on this (as on all other matters) with the incumbent.