Judgment Search


Click on one of the following to view and/or download the relevant document:

Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2022 judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022

Re St. Wilfrid Standish [2024] ECC Bla 1

The petitioners, residents of the parish for 58 years and with many relatives buried in the churchyard, wished to reserve a grave space for 25 years. In 2022 the Parochial Church Council had made a decision not to support any more reservations of graves, in view of the small number of empty grave spaces remaining. The Deputy Chancellor concluded that there was no sufficient justification for the Court to take the exceptional course of allowing a reservation when there was only space for burials for an estimated period of 18 to 24 months.

Re Stile Cop Cemetery [2018] ECC Lic 2

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of his father exhumed from one plot in the cemetery and reinterred in another plot with the cremated remains of his recently deceased mother. The reasons given for the application were: (1) the petitioner's father's burial plot was close to the entrance of the cemetery, and when members of the family visited the plot, all other people visiting the cemetery would be passing by them; (2) there was no convenient seat at which to sit and reflect; and (3) the plot was next to a gully cover. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioner genuinely found the location of the plot unsuitable, but he could not find any exceptional reason to justify exhumation.

Re Stoke by Clare Cemetery [2019] ECC SEI 1

The petitioner's husband's cremated remains had been interred in the cemetery at Stoke by Clare in 2001. Since that time, the petitioner had moved to Haverhill. By reason of her age and cuts in local transport, the petitioner was now finding it difficult to visit her husband's grave, and she wished to have his remains exhumed and reinterred in Haverhill Cemetery. The Chancellor was unable to grant a faculty, as he found that the circumstances did not provide an exception such as the law required him to find before permitting an exhumation.

Re Stourport Town Cemetery [2022] ECC Wor 8

The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise the exhumation of the remains of the petitioner's father and reinterment after the removal of some jewellery, which, owing to a mistake by the funeral directors, had been included in the interment, contrary to the wishes of the family.

Re Streatham Cemetery [2023] ECC Swk 3

The burial authority sought authorisation to reuse two areas of Streatham Cemetery largely free of memorials. The Chancellor considered that the proposals were in principle both acceptable and commendable, to facilitate the economical use of land and to address the continuing shortage of grave space. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re Streatham Park Cemetery [2011] Philip Petchey Ch. (Southwark)

The petitioner's mother's (a Belgian Roman Catholic) had been buried in an unconsecrated part of Streatham Park Cemetery. The petitioner's father had been buried in a consecrated part of the cemetery, and in the same grave as the petiitoner's father's still-born sister. The father's interment had been arranged by the petitioner's late grandparents. The petitioner believed that his father had always wanted to be buried with his mother, so that the grandparents had failed to carry out the wishes of the father. Also, the petitioner was unhappy about the lack of maintenance of the area in which the graves were situated. The petitioner proposed that the remains of his parents should be exhumed and reinterred together in the town in Belgium where his parents had been married, and where they had relatives. The Chancellor agreed to the exhumation of the father's remains (the exhumation of the mother's remains from unconsecrated ground would reqire a Home Office licence) and reinterment in the Belgian cemetery. The Chancellor refused to grant an additional request of the petitioner to have the remains of his father's still-born sister exhumed and reinterred in a cemetery at Maidstone, where the petitioner's grandparents were interred in separate graves.

Re Streatham Park Cemetery [2013] Philip Petchey Ch. (Southwark)

By mistake, the body of a lady was interred in the wrong grave, namely, in a grave reserved for a married couple, of whom the wife's body had already been interred in the grave. The mistake only came to light when the husband who had reserved the grave died and arrangements were made for his interment with the remains of his wife. The husband's remains were temporarily interred in an unconsecrated grave. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the exhumation of the remains of the lady buried in the wrong grave, in order that they could be transferred to the grave where they should have been buried, so that the remains of the man could be exhumed and reinterred with the remains of his wife.

Re Streatham Park Cemetery [2016] ECC Swk 15

The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise the exhumation of cremated remains, so that they could be reinterred in the same grave at a greater depth, in order to allow the interment above them of the cremated remains of another member of the family.

Re Streatham Park Cemetery [2022] ECC Swk 1

The Chancellor granted a faculty for an exhumation and reinterment in circumstances where, owing to an administrative error, a deceased's remains had been buried in the wrong grave.

Re Streatham Park Cemetery [2023] ECC Swk5

The petitioner's brother had died, aged 5, in 1970 and his remains were interred in a consecrated part of Streatham Park Cemetery. It had been the hope of the petitioner's parents that they would be able to be buried next to their son. The petitioner's mother having recently died, it was discovered that the she could not be buried next to her son. The petitioner therefore sought a faculty to have her brother's remains exhumed and the grave dug deeper to allow the reinterment of her brother's remains, the interment of her mother and, in due time the interment of her father. The Chancellor determined that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty: "... family graves are intrinsically a good thing, as expressive of family unity and making economical use of grave space. The creation of a family grave formed part of the exceptional circumstances arising in Blagdon." [Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 291 (Court of Arches)]