Burial at St Peter's
St Peter's Churchyard
The death of someone close to you is always hard to deal with. As well as the sadness you feel at their loss, you may also feel overwhelmed by all the practical decisions which must be made at this time. The information on this page will answer some of the questions you may have about burial and interment of ashes in St Peter's Churchyard and help you to care for the grave afterwards. Please contact us (01277 362173) if anything is unclear, or if there is anything else you would like to know.
WHO CAN BE BURIED IN THE CHURCHYARD?
Not everybody has the right to be buried at St Peters. A person does not have to have been a regular churchgoer or hold any particular belief to be buried there but must:
- be living in the parish at the time of death, OR
- be on the Electoral Roll of St Peters or St Martins, OR
- die in the parish
Other people may be buried there, or have their ashes interred, only at the discretion of the Church.
Although there are legal rights in relation to burial and interment, they confer no right of ownership of the soil in which the burial or interment has taken place. This means that the family does not own the grave, and is not permitted to place items on it without permission. Please see the separate page regarding the upkeep of the Churchyard.
BURIAL OF ASHES
Burial of ashes can take place soon after the cremation, in which case the funeral directors will usually make the arrangements. Alternatively it can be arranged directly between the family and the Church at a later stage. There is normally a short service in the churchyard on these occasions, during which the ashes are poured into a hole in the ground. We do not bury ashes in caskets of any sort, nor do we permit scattering of ashes on the surface of the graveyard.
Ashes are only interred in the Garden of Remembrance. Small bronze plaques are used as memorials and it is not possible to mark the exact place of the interment, neither is it possible to place flowers or other memorials in the Garden.
Names and dates are also recorded in the Memorial Book inside the church.
Graves may be marked with headstones. The first step in arranging this is to talk to a funeral director or stonemason.
There are strict rules about the kind of stone used, the size and style of the memorial, the inscription on it and the way the grave is cared for later (see Look after a Grave). These rules (for link to pdf file click here) are made by the Diocese of Chelmsford, which has authority over all the parish churches in this area. We can only give permission for things which fall inside these guidelines.
Funeral directors and stonemasons are aware of the Regulations and will guide you in your choice of memorial. A copy is also available in Chipping Ongar Library. If you require more information at any time, please contact us (01277 362173).
A PRAYER FOR TIMES OF SORROW
Loving Lord, help me to place (N.) into your hands, for you know and love him/her as your child. Be with me in the dark times of grief, and hold me till the morning comes. Amen