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Cemetery Rules



St Mary’s Cemetery is dedicated for, and continues to provide a burial ground for, past and present Parishioners of St Mary’s. The right of burial in the Cemetery is granted subject to the decrees and canons of the Catholic Church and the rules and regulations of the cemetery in force at any particular time. It is a condition of “Plot Ownership” that these rules and regulations are adhered to.


Graveyard and Columbarium

St Mary’s Cemetery comprises burial grounds for bodily remains (the Graveyard) and for cremated remains (the Columbarium) - the Graveyard being a lawned cemetery and the Columbarium a paved area. Cemetery maintenance is carried out on a volunteer basis, and all cemetery users are asked to conform with these Cemetery Rules to assist in facilitating this.


These Cemetery Rules apply equally to all areas of the Cemetery.


New cemetery plots

New cemetery plots will normally only be allocated for deceased Parishioners (past or present) of St Mary’s, although non-Parishioners may be permitted plots in exceptional circumstances. Charges are payable at the current prevailing rate. Plots may not be “pre-purchased”.


New cemetery plots will be allocated on the basis of the “next available” according to the cemetery plan.


New graveyard plots will not be allocated for the interment of cremated remains, which must be buried in the Columbarium.


The standard for the digging of new graves will be to provide a capacity for 4 interments – parishioners will be free to request a smaller capacity should they wish this.


A Grave Deed will be issued to the Registered Owner of the Right of Burial in a particular plot. This Grave Deed must be produced for all subsequent interments in the Plot. In order that the cemetery records are kept up to date, any change in the details of the Registered Owner must be notified to the Parish Priest.


Grave Deed holders do not own the land, they only hold a Right of Burial in a particular grave plot.



The cemetery is a lawned cemetery and restrictions are in place regarding the type of memorial permitted within the cemetery.


Within the graveyard area no memorial may be erected without the prior written approval of the Parish Priest or other person authorised for this purpose. The maximum size of memorial permitted is:      

Base                75cm wide x 30cm deep x 10cm high

Memorial        65cm wide x 10cm deep x 80cm high

The only memorial stone permitted in the graveyard is a headstone – kerbstones, etc are not permitted. In the new area of the graveyard a concrete strip foundation is provided for the fixing of headstones – headstones in the new area must be fixed to the concrete foundation with stainless steel pins extending at least 10cm into the foundation. Free-standing vases are only permitted if they stand on the headstone plinth / base / foundation.


Any approval for the erection of a memorial given by the Parish Priest or other authorised person shall expire if the memorial is not erected within twelve months of the date of such approval being granted.


Within the Columbarium the only memorial stone permitted is a flat stone, which may be placed on the top of the individual Columbarium plot stone and must be the same dimensions as the individual Columbarium plot stone (450mm x 450mm).


Any memorial or other item that does not conform to the above may be removed without notice.


The Parish authorities accept no responsibility for memorials or their safety and security. Once a memorial is erected it remains the property of the owner of the burial right in the grave plot, who is responsible for maintaining it in a safe condition at all times. If the memorial is damaged or is in a dangerous state and as a result injury is caused to a third party, then the responsibility lies with the owner of the memorial. Grave Deed holders are strongly recommended to obtain appropriate insurance to cover the possibility of their memorial causing death or injury to visitors to the cemetery.


The Parish authorities will carry out periodic Risk Assessments in the Cemetery and, should any memorial be found to pose a Risk, will inform the owner of the memorial who has the responsibility to address the identified problem within a reasonable timescale. In the event that the memorial is not restored to a safe condition within a reasonable timescale the Parish reserves the right to move, remove and take away such memorial. If the owner of the memorial cannot be identified or traced then the memorial will be removed after appropriate notice has been given in the Parish Newsletter.


The Parish may remove any headstone or other memorial erected without approval without giving any notice.


Should the Parish incur costs in making safe or removing memorials then it reserves the right to make a Charge upon the registered Plot Owner, and may hold this as a charge against future burials if unpaid.



Burials may take place in the cemetery with or without a Church Service, at a date and time agreed with the Parish Priest. The Funeral Director will usually liase with the Parish Authorities to open up the required grave or columbarium plot.


The Grave Deed must be produced before an interment may take place – if the Grave Deed has been lost then the person requesting the Burial will need to complete a Form of Indemnity to establish their “Right to Burial” and to indemnify the Parish from any claims, costs or other liability that may arise from the Burial. A new Grave Deed will be issued to the person requesting the Burial, who will be regarded as the new registered Plot Owner. The Transfer of Ownership of a Grave Deed may be effected at any time by request, should circumstances require this.


The Columbarium is the preferred location for the burial of cremated remains. Cremated remains may be interred in existing graveyard plots, but not in newly-acquired graveyard plots. The Certificate of Cremation must be presented before any burial of cremated remains can take place – if it is not possible to provide this Certificate prior to burial then it is a legal requirement that a Declaration Form must be signed by the person requesting the burial, and that the Certificate of Cremation be subsequently provided (re-issued by the Crematorium if necessary).


There is no absolute right to burial for any person in the Cemetery (regardless of possession of a “Right of Burial” in a particular Grave Plot): the Parish Priest will have the right to refuse to permit an individual burial at his sole discretion


Grave Maintenance and Aftercare

After burial all graves will be tidied up and left in an acceptable condition by the Parish. The levelling of graves during the period of settlement will be carried out by the Parish as required, and thereafter the Parish will undertake the turfing, seeding and maintenance of the lawned areas. No cost will be incurred to the owner of the right of burial.


No item is permitted to be placed in the lawned areas between the rows of headstones, and any such item (or any item that may interfere with the grounds maintenance of any area within the cemetery) may be removed without notice by the Parish.


The introduction of any item that hinders the proper maintenance of the Cemetery is not permitted.  Examples of “non-permitted items” are: statues (except when placed on the headstone plinth), chains or fences or dug borders around graves. Similarly vases, flowers, plants, trees, ornaments of any description, gravel and kerbstones are not permitted outside the area of the headstone. Flowers are only permitted on the plinth or headstone. Any item which obstructs mowing will be removed – this includes items placed on the headstone plinth that project beyond the plinth.


Cemetery users are asked to keep the Cemetery clean and tidy and are specifically required to remove their own items of refuse from grave areas, using the waste bins provided.


St Mary’s, Euxton Cemetery Rules                                                       Updated and re-issued March 2019

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