Burial of non-residents in the village churchyard

Clarifying when exceptions will be made in future (Jan 2020)

 The churchyard is for the whole village, whether you come to church or not, and we are very grateful for the volunteers who give their time and energy, and for the Parish Council’s financial support, to maintain it.

The rights to burial in the churchyard are governed by national law, to ensure that the needs of villagers, past present and future, are preserved for as long as possible. Currently, anyone who is resident in Chearsley when they die, together with anyone on the electoral roll of the parish, has the right to be buried (or have ashes interred) in the churchyard whilst it remains open.

In addition, we currently make exceptions for “long-standing village families” who no longer live in Chearsley but who have expressed a wish to be buried, or have their ashes interred, here. We want to continue to do this, but it is proving difficult to do so fairly, since there is no common understanding of what “long-standing village family” actually means. This was addressed by the PCC on 19th November 2019, when a more-objective definition was agreed.

In future, exceptions will be made for non-residents who have requested a burial or interment of ashes in the churchyard if the deceased:

  1. Lived in the village for more than half of their life


  1. Lived in village immediately before moving into nursing care, or to a temporary address (eg. Hospital or University)


  1. Has permission to be buried, or to have their ashes interred, in an existing family grave in the churchyard


We hope this will enable us to continue making exceptions for our long-standing villages on a fair and consistent basis. If you have any questions or concerns about this policy, please contact Rev Richard on 01844 208987 or reverend.richard.phillips@gmail.com.

God bless you and keep you, and give you his peace.