Burials and Graveyard
Our Churchyard is a special place because it has been set aside as a Christian place of burial in which memories can be cherished in peace and tranquillity. We try to keep it harmonious in appearance and a worthy setting for our village Church.
Making arrangements for the funeral of a loved one is never easy but it is important to find out beforehand what special regulations are enforced in our churchyard.
We hope this information will be helpful to those arranging a burial or burial of ashes; it is also available to download as the Churchyard leaflet (pdf).
Every resident of the Parish has the right to be buried in the churchyard. The Rector also has the discretion to give permission for the burial of ashes, and for the burial of non-parishioners.
Our churchyard is the setting for the parish church, a place of Christian worship. Imagery and inscriptions on memorial should be simple, reverent and importantly, appropriate. They should be in keeping with the churchyard’s country atmosphere.
Churchyard Rules and Regulations
The Rector has the right to decide where a burial shall take place. However it is possible to reserve a space by special permission. The Rector will be able to provide details of the procedure and the cost involved.
North Luffenham Parochial Church Council (the PCC) together with the Rector, are responsible for the care, maintenance and safety of the churchyard in accordance with Churchyard Regulations of the Peterborough Diocese (the Regulations). In doing so, the PCC has no desire to be unduly restrictive or bureaucratic but draw your attention to the North Luffenham Graveyard Regulations and request that all users of the Churchyard observe these rules.
Headstones and Memorials
Before planning a headstone or other memorial or contacting a memorial mason, please contact the Rector, as permission will be required before you can proceed. Headstones for insertion directly in the ground or on a stone or vase base and memorial tablets, must comply with the Regulations. Amongst other things these cover size, shape, materials and inscriptions. A full copy of the Regulations is displayed in the North porch at the main entrance of the Church.
There are a number of things which are not allowed including: raised curbs, railings, fencing around a grave, chippings, photographs, lights, statues and ornaments (except headstones which have been properly authorised) within the grave space or adjacent to cremation tablets (which should be flush in the ground, not. raised).
Some monuments from the past may not conform to today’s Regulations. Unfortunately this cannot be accepted as a reason for not adhering to the current Regulations.
Following burial, at least six months, but preferably a year, should elapse before a headstone is erected, in order to allow the grave to settle. The earth should be levelled before any permanent memorial, with the necessary permission, is erected. The grave should be grassed over.
If graves are not levelled after twelve months, the PCC reserves the right to do so.
Small bulbs can be planted in the soil of any grave in front of the headstone, but no more elaborate planting schemes, rockeries, shrubs or trees are allowed.
Burial of ashes
North Luffenham’s churchyard contains an area specially set aside for the burial of ashes. Only pre-agreed memorial stones let into the ground are allowed. If no stone is requested, a small memorial plaque may be placed in the South porch. Memorial plaques, with approved wording, may be purchased through the PCC for a small fee. Flowers may be in containers completely let into the earth otherwise regulations are the same as for graves.
Cremated remains alternatively may be placed in the existing grave of a relative. These arrangements must be discussed with the Rector.
Maintenance of graves
The maintenance, appearance and safety of graves and memorials remain the responsibility of relatives, and should be carried out in compliance with these rules. The PCC will take steps to make safe any memorials which present a hazard. If the PCC incurs expense because a grave or memorial is not in a safe condition, then it reserves the right to recoup the expense from the family concerned.
Grass cutting by contractors of open areas of the Churchyard and around graves takes place regularly throughout the growing season. Grave areas will be cut if there is sufficient access for their equipment.
Free standing vases are not permitted under Diocesan Regulations, as these are a safety hazard for visitors as well as for contractors mowing or maintaining the Churchyard.
A fixed vase made of stone with a memorial inscription instead of a headstone or cross may be permitted in a burial space. Do check with the Rector about what vases are allowed.
Fresh flowers add to the environment of the Churchyard and may be placed directly on a grave or cremation memorial. They may also be placed in a vase which has been authorised i.e. on the gravestone plinth, or, if no plinth, in a container which has been recessed completely into the ground.
Fresh flowers – a symbol of the gift of creation and the brevity of life – are preferred but where artificial or silk flowers are used they must be of natural colours, good quality and appropriate to the season.
Remembrance Day poppies are allowed, but should be removed by Christmas at the latest.
Christmas wreaths are allowed at Christmas time, but should be removed by 2nd February (Candlemas).
Removal of withered flowers
Flowers, whether fresh or artificial, and wreaths should be removed once they have deteriorated, become unsightly, or have died. They may be placed in either of the two green wheelie bins. Paper should be placed in the grey recycling bin but all other rubbish should be placed in the black bin. All three different types of bins are to be found to the left of the main church entrance & an extra green bin is in the churchyard.
The PCC reserves the right to arrange for the removal and disposal of unsightly flowers -whether fresh or artificial - as well as any items not permitted by these Regulations.
A tap is situated below the retaining wall, to the left of the path to the main entrance of the church.
Our beautiful and historic Church is usually open daily - everyone is welcome - it is a place of peace and tranquillity, for prayer and contemplation.
Please treat the Churchyard as a special sacred place which requires respect from all users, it has a Public Right of Way crossing it.
Please keep your dog under control at all times, and particularly clear up any dog mess and place it in the special waste bin which is to be found on the right hand side at the churchyard entrance.
The aim of these rules is to have a fitting and dignified last resting place for your loved ones, to allow maintenance, and to keep the Churchyard in sympathy with its rural Christian setting.
The PCC reserves the right to vary these rules from time to time.
Before you decide
Much disappointment and unnecessary heartache can be avoided if the Rector (or his or her representative) is contacted before arrangements are decided upon. Obviously they can only authorise what falls within the Diocesan Regulations. It helps to work with them in trying to keep our local churchyard as a place of peace and good taste.
Please be aware that the Diocesan Regulations are updated from time to time, so that a memorial or grave permitted under past Regulations may not now be authorised.
Your co-operation in making your parish churchyard attractive and well-ordered will be much appreciated. Thank you.
Support and advice
Cruse Bereavement Care offer support & advice to all bereaved, young and old. The local Leicestershire and Rutland Group can be contacted on 0116-288-4119 and their trained volunteers offer confidential and free information at this difficult time.
Information Leaflets produced (with acknowledgement to Kimpton PCC) by North Luffenham PCC, September 2016