Headstones may be added to a plot after 12 months, once the soil has settled, but before they are commissioned the Vicar is required to approve all designs using form CR1 (from the stonemason, the Vicar or Diocesan website), further fees are required. The Vicar is able to approve any designs which fit within the Diocesan guidelines below. If you want anything outside these it needs to be referred to the church authorities via the faculty process. The Vicar will advise you if this is necessary and can explain the process to you in more detail and provide the forms if this is something you would like to consider.
the headstone needs to be of a stone that will blend well with the rest of the headstones and that will weather naturally (it may not be coloured, polished, reflective or artificial)
the headstone may be rectangular or in the shape of a cross with maximum dimensions 1200mm high x 900mm wide x 150mm thick, a cross may be a maximum of 1500mm high and the base needs to be as wide as the cross to ensure stability
all headstones must be securely fitted to the ground (if they become unstable we will lay them down for safety reasons and try to contact you - so it is helpful to ensure we have an up to date contact number for the family)
the diocese states no kerbs, railings or stones
they also don't allow memorials in the shape of a statue or bird bath
they don't allow you to include any image of the deceased including photographs or coloured drawings on the headstone
the inscription needs to be checked with the Vicar and can include name, dates, family (e.g. husband/father/grandfather). It can also include a short, appropriate quotation or epitaph. Lettering needs to be incised and may be leaded or painted black/white (though this will need to be repainted from time to time)
It is also possible to mark the plot with flowering bulbs and small annual plants planted in front of the headstone. Other plants and flowers may be left in removable sunken pots in front of the headstone but may not be buried straight into the ground as roots damage the soil structure and with our high water table are likely to mean head stones falling in the future. A removable vase may be placed in front of the headstone to put cut flowers in. Cut flowers or wreaths may also be placed directly on the grave. Please remove plastic covering and remember that we have deer so they will eat flowers, especially roses. These, of course, will need to be removed when they become unsightly as they are no longer honouring to the deceased. We prefer you not to use artificial flowers as natural flowers blend much better with the natural setting of the churchyard, but where they are used they will, of course, also need to be removed when they become unsightly (Diocesan guidelines are after 2 months, but we are happy to use our discretion where flowers are lasting well). The Diocese does not allow other ornaments, toys or decorations on the plot. However, we know how important these are to many families and have managed to get an agreement that these may be present for birthdays and anniversaries for a week, and over the Christmas period from December 1st to January 6th (12th night) but ask that there are no lights as this causes problems for wildlife and other visitors to the churchyard.
Other memorials such as benches always require a faculty, the PCC are not able to agree to them independently. There are also other possibilities for memorials such as doors, notice boards etc. which may have a memorial plaque. Please contact Claire to discuss this further if you are interested.
Cremated remains may be buried in our garden of remembrance, or added to an existing family grave (fees required may be found on Diocesan website or from vicar). Cremated remains are buried without their container and where a double depth is required this needs to be advised at first meeting with the Vicar. The scattering of ashes is no longer permitted due to health and safety reasons. Burials may be recorded in the Book of Remembrance and it is also possible to have a memorial plaque on the bell tower - either at the time of burial or at any time afterwards. Please contact the Vicar for a form (this currently has a £20 fee). Please don't attach anything else to the Bell Tower. Plants and flowers may be left in removable pots at the base of the tower. We are currently applying for a faculty to be able to provide a raised area for this. Cut flowers or wreaths may also be placed directly on the grass over the burial. Please remove plastic covering and remember that we have deer so they will eat flowers, especially roses. These will be tidied up on a regular basis (they will need to be removed Tuesdays to enable grass cutting to take place) and will be removed when they become unsightly. Because they are removed so frequently it is not possible to use artificial flowers. Please don't place other ornaments, toys or decorations on the plot - any placed there will also need to be removed for grass cutting and to ensure that the traditional and natural look of the graveyard is maintained for all.