Display:

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of her mother, who died in 1978, exhumed from Wolseley Road Cemetery, in order that the remains might be reinterred with the cremated remains of her father (whose remains had not yet been interred) in a new cemetery at Stile Cop. Applying the principles laid down by the Court of Arches in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, the determined that this was not a case where there were special circumstances which would justify the grant of a faculty.

Cremated remains of two people had been buried in a grave already reserved for someone else. The Chancellor granted a Faculty for exhumation and reinterment in another part of the cemetery, on the ground that a genuine mistake had been made. Normally, the Chancellor would have directed that the exhumation should take place as soon as possible, but in this he acceded to the request of the petitioner, out of respect for his particular faith, that the exhumation should not take place within one year of the interment, whilst at the same time expressing the hope that an earlier date might be agreed,in order to alleviate the concerns of the person who had reserved the grave.

The Chancellor, for two reasons, dismissed an application by a private individual for an injunction to stop the Dean & Chapter of York Minster preventing the ringing of the Minster bells. Firstly, the Chancellor had no jurisdiction over the cathedral church of the diocese; and secondly, "the injunctive powers given to Chancellors is in relation to unlawful activity in relation to the church or the churchyard, but only such activity the nature of which would require a faculty to be granted for it to be done lawfully. The use or non-use of the church, the conduct of services in the church and the ringing or non-ringing of bells would not fall within the jurisdiction of the consistory court in a parish church."

The petitioner, a Vietnamese, wished to exhume the remains of his father, which had been buried in Putney Vale Cemetery according to Vietnamese Buddhist rites, and to re-inter the remains in another part of the cemetery, next to the grave of his mother. The reason the Petitioner gave for his petition was that, "According to our Vietnamese tradition and culture, the eldest son of the family will have to carry out the exhumation of the deceased father's body 10 years after it was first buried, and then to re-bury it." The Chancellor granted a faculty. The judgment includes a consideration of Articles 8 and 9 of theĀ  European Convention on Human Rights.