Churchyards and Monuments
Churchyards are fascinating places, with a sacred history that almost always stretches back earlier than the stone monuments that you see. Each churchyard belongs to the local church, and rules governing its use are set locally by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Oxford.
If it is still open for burials, your local churchyard offers burial facilities to those who live in the parish and internment of ashes at the discretion of the Church Council and Rector. If you are wanting information about a burial for a relative, your undertaker will normally make the enquiries on your behalf. But if you are beginning to make arrangements for yourself, please do get in touch with one of the clergy team to ask about the options available. (Please also note that it is not normally possible to “reserve” a grave without the permission of the higher church authorities, which can be complicated, and may not be granted.)
Each church cares for and maintains the churchyard at its own expense. Some receive a little financial help from their local civic parish or district councils, but most do not.
It is possible for non-residents to be buried in a churchyard, but only if there is an existing family grave, with space, and where the next of kin have given their consent.
There are strict rules about the kind of monuments that can be erected in a churchyard. The local minister has limited authority to permit monuments that fall within certain guidelines, but for anything else the Church of England authorities have to be consulted and give their approval. Your local minister will help and advise you in this process, and it can be helpful to speak to him or her before you approach a monumental mason.
Normally six months must have elapsed between a burial and the erection of a memorial, and your monumental mason will have to have obtained signed authority before any work may proceed.
You can download a copy of the current churchyard regulations pertaining to the Langtree Team here.
The full regulations currently in force in the Diocese of Oxford can be found here.
The Seven Churches of Langtree Team Ministry.