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The Churchyard          

The churchyard at St. James' is maintained and looked after by volunteers.  It is a closed churchyard and is no longer used for burials.

However, we have permission to provide a service for people who want to bury their loved one's ashes.  A small plaque and base can be provided, but due to lack of space we request that the ashes are not buried in an urn or casket.

Please contact the Verger directly (tel.) 01253 702432, who is currently providing this service.  Charges will be incurred.

A guide for families and friends  Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience. The person who has been so much a part of one's life is suddenly not there any more.  There is just an aching gap where that person used to be. There will be grief and tears, possibly for some time to come.

If your loved one has been buried in the churchyard, or their ashes are interred there, you may find it helpful to visit the grave, and spend some time quietly alone with your thoughts, memories and prayers. You might like to sit quietly or just walk around and let your thoughts run free.

Churchyards should be places of tranquillity and dignity, open to anyone who wants to come and enjoy the peace that such a setting can bring.

Churchyards not only provide a focal point for present day mourners, but also an historical record for future generations. Our churchyard is a place of history. It is also a place of beauty with the Church and rural surroundings. Most important of all it is a place held dear by many in our community because the remains of their loved ones are buried there.

Our prime concern is that the churchyard should be a beautiful and dignified place.

There can be no more burials at St James as the graveyard is full. However, we still have an area where ashes may be interred. If you require further information please contact our Assistant Verger, Neville Francis, on 701123.

We hope you will find the following information helpful.

RUBBISH   All dead flowers should be removed from the graves and put in the bins provided or taken away.

GRASS CUTTING  The Parochial Church Council is responsible for the cutting of the grass in the graveyard during the growing season.  This cutting also includes the strimming round graves, trees, hedges and walls. It is encouraging to see the graveyard being so well kept. No one is paid to do this, we rely on a hard-working team of volunteers.

GRAVE OWNERSHIP  In a municipal or borough cemetery a grave becomes the possession of the family and grave deeds are issued.  However, in a church graveyard the graves remain the property of the Vicar acting on behalf of the Diocese of Blackburn.  Please understand that any papers issued at the time of a funeral are not deeds but a receipt for payment of the various fees.

GRAVE POSITION AND IDENTIFICATION  Grave positions and identifications may be checked with the master plan of the graveyard in the vestry. Please speak to the Curate, Church Wardens or Verger for assistance.

THE LAW  Many people are surprised to discover that what happens in a church graveyard is controlled by the laws of England.  In general nothing may be placed on a grave without permission. Some of the regulations are issued by the authorities of the Diocese of Blackburn and concern the type of memorial that may be erected on a grave.  Other regulations are issued by the Vicar and control the day-to-day management of the graveyard.

We are sure you will understand that the purpose of the regulations is to preserve the rights of the majority and to curb the excesses of the few.

FEES   A standard fee is payable to the Parochial Church Council when a memorial is introduced into the graveyard or when an additional inscription is made.  The Assistant Verger will give you details.

The fees are set nationally by the Church Commissioners under the Ecclesiastical Fees Measure 1986. The Church Commissioners' address is:

1 Millbank, London SWIP 3JZ

INSCRIPTIONS   These should be simple and should include the full Christian name and surname of the deceased with age and date of death and the years of birth and death.  In expressing these dates the notation ‘1st January 1992’ should be used, rather than 1 / 1 / 92.

The object of the epitaphs is to identify the resting place of the deceased, to honour the dead, to comfort the living and to inform posterity. They should therefore be simple and relevant and consistent with Christian belief.

The Vicar is authorised to ask for items to be removed if they have been placed on graves without his written permission. These include memorials, vases, wooden crosses, figures, etc.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact the Vicar.

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