St Margaret’s has two graveyards, lovingly referred to as the “old graveyard” and the “new graveyard”.
The graveyard adjacent to the church is closed to new burials. However, the “new graveyard” across the road from the church is operational and is the local cemetery for the area.
The PCC is responsible for its upkeep.
Regulations for the use of the churchyard
These guidelines are in accordance with the Regulations set down in 2013 by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Lichfield, and are administered by the Vicar, Churchwardens and Parochial Church Council (P.C.C.). Further information is available from the Vicar, Churchwardens or Church Clerk, contact details are on the notice board at the back of church.
A memorial may be taken to mean a headstone or other permanent fixture erected to mark a grave in the churchyard. The erection of new memorials is governed by the regulations issued by Lichfield Diocese. Copies of these are available from the Church Officers. No new memorials may be erected, or alterations to existing memorials made, without prior written permission from the Vicar or his deputy.
Ownership of the memorial is vested in the person who caused it to be erected, or thereafter in the estate of that person or the estate of the person commemorated by the monument. Where they can be traced, the P.C.C. will normally regard the nearest relations of the person commemorated to be responsible for the maintenance of the memorial.
The P.C.C. reserves the right to remove memorials which have been erected without permission, and to repair, lay down or remove dangerous monuments where relations cannot be traced, or where no action has been taken after due notice has been given.
There is an area at the east end of the graveyard reserved for the interment of cremated remains. Special regulations apply to this area in that headstones must not exceed 24inches (60cms) in height and by 16 inches (40cms) in width.
(Changes to the regulations governing the interment of cremated remains were introduced in 2013. These exclude the use of caskets and individual memorials. However these changes will not apply until the present area is full and new ground opened up beyond the path. Again further details can be provided.)
Grave mounds are not classed as memorials. For ease of maintenance the P.C.C. will arrange to level and grass all grave mounds not sooner than 6 months after burial, to allow the ground to settle. Similarly memorials will usually be erected after the same period.
For reasons of safety during churchyard maintenance, no glass, ceramic or plastic flower containers are permitted. Ideally, flower vases should be built into the base of the headstone. Metal flower containers are permitted as long as they are set level in the ground at the head of the grave. The P.C.C. reserves the right to remove all inappropriate containers.
No Shrubs, trees or perennial plants may be planted on graves. Planting of annual flowers should be limited to 18 inches (46cm) in front of the headstone. Spring flowering bulbs may be planted anywhere in the churchyard except pathways. All floral refuse and grass cuttings must be placed in the brown bin provided or taken away. Plastic flowers or other non-biodegradable items should be placed in the black bin; this includes wreaths on wire frames.
The P.C.C. reserves the right to remove decayed or untidy flowers. Artificial/Plastic flowers are not allowed except for Remembrance Day poppies and Christmas Wreaths and should be removed after a reasonable time.
The P.C.C. and Churchwardens are responsible for the good order and maintenance of the Churchyard and have an established Churchyard Fund. Though we are grateful for any gifts, an annual donation would be particularly welcome. Arrangements can be made through the wardens and the treasurer.