RULES FOR WICKERSLEY CHURCHYARD
Families choose a churchyard for the burial of their loved ones because of its unique Christian character. Such character can only be maintained by the adherence to the churchyard rules. These rules follow the rules laid down by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Sheffield on 12th January 1994. They aim to ensure that, as far as possible, Wickersley Churchyard is a place of peace, order, and beauty, and that it is laid out in such a way that it can be easily maintained by this and future generations. They have been agreed and authorised by the Parochial Church Council of St. Alban’s Church, Wickersley.
1. Location of graves
Burials are only permitted after completion of two copies of the “Application for BurialForm”, available from the Rector or local Funeral Directors. The rules of Wickersley Churchyard are binding on all those who complete and sign this form. New grave spaces are allocated by the Rector, in sequence.
No burial may be permitted and no memorial erected within 3.5 metres of the walls of the Church except where authorised by faculty. A grave space may not be reserved except by faculty. A memorial in such a space requires the same permission as any other.
2. Procedure for the Introduction of Memorials
Permission must be obtained for the introduction of any memorial. The Rector may give authority for the introduction of simple memorials in respect of burials complying with the rules set out; but other types of memorial must be authorised by the Chancellor under faculty.
Every application to erect a memorial, or place anything whatsoever, or to do any works, in the churchyard should be made in the first instance in writing to the Rector, or on the form issued by the Diocese and obtainable from the Rector, with a full description of the proposed work. A minimum period of six months should elapse between the death of a person to be commemorated and the application. Permission to erect a memorial should be obtained before the applicant accepts an estimate or otherwise enters into a contract with a Funeral Director or Stonemason.
THE CREATION OF SMALL “GARDENS”, RAILINGS, CHAINS, CHIPPINGS, SHRUBS, TREES OR OTHER ADDITIONS, ON GRAVES IS NOT PERMITTED.
3. Dimensions of Headstone
Headstones should be no larger than 1200mm (4ft) high, measured from the surface of the ground, 900mm (3ft) wide and 150mm (6in) thick. They should be no less than 750mm (2ft 6in) high, 500mm (1ft8in) wide and no less than 75mm (3in) thick (except in the case of slate memorials, which may be thinner but no less than 38mm (1 1/2in thick). These measurements are not intended to define standard proportions of memorials, and memorials may be of any dimensions within the given maxima and minima. (The metric equivalent given above are slightly less than the Imperial dimensions, but are recommended for use by the National Association of Master Masons.)
4. Base and Foundation Slab; Kerbstones
A headstone may stand on a stone base; provided that it is an integral part of the design and does not project more than 102mm (4in) beyond the headstone in any direction, except where a receptacle for flowers is provided, in which case this may extend up to 200mm (8in) in front of the headstone. Due regard should be paid to the nature of the ground and the problem of settlement; where a concrete sub-base is necessary for these reasons, it must be below the surface of the ground.
Other methods of fixing the memorial in the ground are not discouraged, and the base of the memorial may be so shaped that it can be inserted directly into the ground at sufficient depth to ensure stability.
Kerbstones are not permitted without a faculty except in parts of the churchyard where both the following conditions are met: (a) that kerbstones are already common in that area; and (b) that the introduction of the proposed kerbstones would have no effect on the maintenance of the churchyard.
All memorials should be made of natural stone (in which case they have a polished surface on the front and on the top surface of the base only), or of hardwood. Stones traditionally used in local buildings, or stones closely similar to them in colour and texture, are to be preferred. Synthetic stone or plastic are not permitted. Black, blue or red granites and granites darker than Rustenberg grey, are not permitted.
Figure sculpture and other statuary must be authorised by faculty.
Headstones need not be restricted to a rectangular shape. However, railings, chains, chippings, or glass shades are not permitted.
7. Epitaphs and other Inscriptions
Inscriptions must be simple and dignified, and may include suitable quotations from Scripture or other appropriate literary sources. It should be incised, or in relief, and may be painted. No new memorials with plastic or other inserted lettering may be introduced.
Additions may be made to an inscription at a later date following a subsequent interment in the same grave or for other suitable reason. However, any such alteration must be separately approved. The lettering, layout and wording must be consistent with the original inscription.
Photographs or porcelain portraits are not permitted. Where the stone is to bear any embellishment other than lettering, this should be fully described in the application; in such cases, the Rector may require the applicant to seek a faculty.
No advertisement or trademark should be inscribed on a headstone. The Mason’s name may be inscribed at the side or on the reverse in unleaded letters, no larger than 13mm (1/2 in) in height.
9. Cremated remains
The deposit of cremated remains is permitted in areas designated for the purpose by faculty. The interment of cremated remains in a casket is a burial and is not within the scope of a faculty authorising the deposit of remains. Cremated remains may not be scattered in the churchyard.
10. Commemoration after Cremation
Commemoration in the Book of Remembrance is open to all, and the erection of a small Memorial headstone (with vases for flowers as part of the headstone) is permitted. However the creation of small “gardens”, railings, chippings, chains, shrubs or other additions in front of such a headstone or on a cremated remains plot is not permitted. A suitable addition to an existing memorial stone relating to a close relative may be permitted.
The design of a headstone may include an integral receptacle for plants or cut flowers. No plants (except spring bulbs) shrubs or trees may be planted on graves and no other containers for cut flowers may be placed on a grave.
Wreaths and cut flowers may be laid on any grave, but must be removed as soon as they appear to be withered. Christmas wreaths must be removed before the first grass cut in March. Artificial flowers are not encouraged, and where they are used they may be removed after three months or earlier if they should deteriorate.
12. Removal of memorials
The repair of memorials is the responsibility of the family concerned, but the Parochial Church Council may act if the family cannot be traced or will not act. No memorial may be removed without a faculty. A faculty will usually be granted in the case of a damaged headstones dated after 1850 subject to conditions (for example as to advertisements); the Diocesan Registrar will advise.
13. Levelling of gravemounds
The surface of the churchyard extension shall be kept level and free from grave mounds (see Rules Numbers, 2, 4 6 and 10 for this churchyard) so that the grass may be cut easily.
14. Date of these rules.
These rules come into force on the 15th day of October 1998 and will remain effective until revoked and apply to the churchyard on the Parish of Wickersley.
If you have any questions concerning these rules please contact the Rector: (01709) 543111.