Regulations concerning monuments, flowers etc in the Graveyard
Churchyards are a valuable heritage, and the Chancellor and the PCC wishes to ensure that St Peters churchyard is preserved in a manner appropriate to its setting surrounding a listed building of significant architectural importance.
This Churchyard is consecrated ground and the rules as to what may or may not be placed in it are different from Municipal Cemeteries.
The memorial and the grave itself must follow the rules laid down in the regulations which are available from the Church, the Church website or the Diocesan website. The important items to note are as follows.
The priest in charge can authorize any memorial or headstone which complies with the regulations. Designs outside of the regulations may be permitted but only by application to the Chancellor via the Diocesan Office. The PCC may apply for a faculty to remove any memorial which is installed without the appropriate permissions. Due to the significant expense of a memorial it is in your interest to make sure your memorial meets the regulations.
Sculpture, statuary or carving which is not integral to a memorial or is free-standing is not within the Regulations and is not permitted. This includes items made of stone, plastic, wood, glass or composite materials. Examples of these items include toys, animals, birds, hearts, crosses and anything else with or without inscriptions. Photographs, porcelain portraits, chains, glass shades and other items are not permitted. No Clergy or Lay Person has the authority to give permission for the placing of any of these items on a grave space or memorial.
The PCC maintain the Churchyard and reserve the right to remove any items which do not fall within the regulations or are without Faculty approval. If in doubt please ask the Churchwarden or the Priest in Charge. Contact numbers are on the http://www.maxeychurch.co.uk/ website and in the Tribune.
Where it is intended to have a container in which flowers can stand in water, the design of a memorial may include an integral flower receptacle. Where there is no such receptacle, flowers may be placed in a removable water container which if not placed upon the base must be recessed completely into the ground, so that it will not obstruct mowing or other routine churchyard maintenance. Glass vases stood on the grass are not acceptable.
Wreaths, bouquets and other cut flowers may be laid on a grave, but must be removed as soon as they are withered. The PCC will remove withered flowers if you fail to do it yourself. No artificial flowers may be laid or placed in containers except Remembrance Day poppies or crosses and traditional Christmas wreaths. These must be removed after a period of two months from Remembrance Sunday or February 28th for Christmas wreaths. Flower bulbs may be planted in the soil of any grave but no tree, rose bush, or any other bush or shrub may be planted to mark a place of interment without the Chancellorís authority.The surface of the churchyard needs to be kept level and where a grave mound has not been levelled within 12 months of burial, the PCC may give instructions for that to be done.
Reservation of a grave space
You may apply to the Churchwarden in the first instance to register a desire to be buried in a particular grave space. The Churchwarden will check to the best of his or her ability that the space is unoccupied and available. Your request will appear on the St Peters Graveyard database on the Church website as reserved without faculty. This however does not constitute a guarantee.
To formally reserve a grave space you should visit http://www.peterboroughdiocesanregistry.co.uk/graves.html , read the advice enclosed and download and fill in the required faculty form. This should be forwarded with the appropriate fees as instructed in the article. Once faculty approval has been issued the Graveyard database will show your space as reserved with faculty and guarantees this space as laid down in the faculty.
These notes are intended as a summary of the main items in the Diocesan Churchyards Regulations 1992. Advice about memorial applications may be obtained from the Diocesan Registrar, whose address is: 4 Holywell Way, Longthorpe, Peterborough PE3 6SS. Tel: 01733-262523.
The regulations can be downloaded here