A parishioner has a right to be buried in the churchyard of the parish in which he or she resides, provided that it has not been closed for burials by Order in Council, and provided that there is still room for burial. However, a parishioner does not have a right to be buried in a particular place, which is a matter for the Minister to decide at his sole discretion. Anyone wishing to be buried in a particular place in a churchyard can only acquire a right to be buried there by obtaining a Faculty to authorise the reservation of an exclusive right of burial in a particular grave.
Applying to reserve a grave space
There is a special form of Faculty Petition which should be used in connection with an application to reserve a gravespace.
An applicant should complete the front of the Faculty Petition and ask the minister (or, if there is no Minister, the Rural Dean) to complete the reverse of the form. On the front of the form, the grave to be reserved should be referred to by row and number on a churchyard plan. If there is no churchyard plan kept at the church, a sketch plan should be attached to the Faculty Petition showing the position of the grave to be reserved, with sufficient measurements from fixed points to enable the grave to be accurately identified. The completed form should then be sent to the Registrar.
Where husband and wife desire to be buried together, they may either (a) make one application for the right for both to be buried in the same grave, in which case only one set of fees is payable, or (b) make separate applications for the reservation of two adjoining gravespaces, in which case the above fees are payable in respect of each separate application.
The Petition will be sent to the Chancellor of the Diocese, who will normally direct that Public Notices are published at the church, to give notice of the application to parishioners and an opportunity for objections. Such notices have to be published for 28 days. If no notices of objection are received by the Registrar, the Chancellor will normally direct the granting of a Faculty.
Fee on Lodging the Petition
For the fee payable on lodging a Petition, see Fees. The current fee applies whether the application is for a normal grave space or for a plot for the interment of cremated remains. The fee should be paid by cheque made payable to Peterborough Diocesan Board of Finance. This fee is normally revised on 1 January each year. The appropriate fee is the fee applicable at the time when the Petition is lodged in the Registry, not when the Faculty is granted.
The Chancellor normally directs that, on the granting of a Faculty reserving a grave space a fee of £40.00 is to be paid to the Minister and a fee of £80.00 to the Parochial Church Council. Where a cremation plot is reserved, the fees are £20.00 to the Minister and £40.00 to the Parochial Church Council. (These fees may vary or may not apply in other dioceses.) These two fees should not be sent to the Diocesan Registry, but should be paid direct to the Minister and the Parochial Church Council respectively.