People who live in Lapworth can be laid to rest in the beautiful churchyard at St Mary’s.
There are lots of rules and regulations about churchyards, which are summarised below. At St Mary’s the Churchyard Regulations for the Diocese of Birmingham apply.
These rules aim to make the churchyard a dignified, consecrated space that works for everyone in the community and is easy to maintain.
Who can be buried in the Churchyard?
The following individuals have a right to be buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s Lapworth:
- Those that live in the ecclesiastical (church) parish. This right does not depend on church attendance, religious affiliation or how long someone has lived in the parish.
- Anyone that is on the ecclesiastical electoral roll for St Mary’s Lapworth, even if they do not live in the parish.
- Anyone who dies within the parish boundaries, for example in a road accident.
In addition, the Rector and PCC usually accept a burial for anyone who has:
- Previously lived in the parish
- Previously been on the electoral roll
- Has a strong link with the parish, such as having attended the school or worked in the parish for many years.
People with a right of burial may choose to be cremated and have their ashes interred (buried) in the churchyard rather than a full burial.
Unlike municipal cemeteries, families do not own plots in the churchyard. The Rector determines burial plots. New plots are allocated, next in line, in the order that they are required. The Chancellor of the Diocese can grant faculties to reserve spaces for graves, but such faculties are not usually supported by the PCC and only granted in exceptional circumstances.
Once someone has been buried in the churchyard, the family are welcome to put up a memorial by the grave, in accordance with the Churchyard Regulations. This is usually an upright headstone or a cremation plaque. After a burial it is necessary to let the ground settle for at least six months before a memorial is installed. Wooden crosses are often used as temporary grave markers during this period.
The Rector, PCC and parishioners keep the churchyard well maintained so that it can act as a dignified resting place for the dead, and an attractive and tranquil public space for people to visit.
When Mrs Dorothy Dagger passed away in 2012, she left a bequest of £70,000 to Lapworth PCC for the maintenance of the new churchyard at St Mary’s. This has been a wonderful blessing that has hugely helped with the churchyard maintenance and will do for many years to come. It has made it possible to have the hedges cut and properly laid. Tree work has been completed and excess spoil from grave digging has been removed. We remain very grateful to Mrs Dagger for her bequest.
Overall the PCC, and we hope that families too, try to maintain the churchyard in a way that makes it pleasing to all the different people who visit.