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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 Brookwood Cemetery [2023] ECC Gui 4

The petitioner's father had died young in a car accident in 1967, when the family lived in Surrey. His ashes were interred in Brookwood Cemetery, near where the family lived. The Petitioner's mother moved to Australia two years after her husband's death, leaving her three children in England. The children now lived in London, Andover and Australia. It was the wish of the petitioner and her two siblings that their father's ashes be exhumed and reinterred in the churchyard of St. Mary Conistone in North Yorkshire, where a number of family members were buried, though there was no family plot. Following the guiding principles in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] 4 All ER 482, the Deputy Chancellor could find no exceptional circumstances to justify exhumation after such a long period of time.

Re Burnley Cemetery [2021] ECC Bla 2

The petitioner wished to exhume the cremated remains of her husband (who had died in 2015) from Burnley Cemetery, with a view to reinterring them in a family grave, which the family was in the process of purchasing at a cemetery in Morecombe, and which the petitioner intended to be her own final resting place. The petitioner's family lived at Morecombe. The Chancellor determined that the petitioner had not established special circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty for exhumation: " ... the time spent, and the inconvenience and difficulties experienced, in travelling from Morecambe to Burnley, even at the age of 82, do not amount to special circumstances such as to justify the exhumation."

Re Burnley Cemetery [2023] ECC Bla 4

The husband and wife petitioners' son had taken his own life at the age of 23 in 2007. The petitioners had wished at the time to have their son's body buried in the churchyard of Haggart Baptist Church, where several relatives of the husband were buried. At the time they were advised that there was no family grave in which their son could be buried, so the petitioners' arranged burial in Burnley Cemetery. As they got older, the petitioners purchased a new triple-depth plot at Haggart as a family grave and hoped that their son's remains could be moved there and that they could be buried there with him in due time. The Chancellor determined that there were sufficient exceptional circumstances to justify exhumation and reinterment. Amongst other reasons, there was a family grave which had been purchased at the Baptist church, and the petitioners had been unaware at the time of their son's burial that he had been buried in a consecrated part of the cemetery and the implications of that.

Re Burwash Weald St. Philip [2013] Mark Hill Ch. (Chichester)

The Chancellor granted a faculty granted for replacement of a oil-fired boiler with gas boilers, notwithstanding that a parishioner had concern that the proposals would cause unnecessary damage to the building.

Re Caister Parish Cemetery [2016] ECC Nor 3

The Caister Joint Burial Committee proposed to remove and relocate all memorials from an old section of the parish cemetery, to allow for an ordered reuse of that area for further burials. There were objections from two relatives of persons buried in the 1890s. The Chancellor determined that the petitioners’ need to clear an area for reuse must outweigh the wishes of the objectors, but directed that the two memorials concerned should be carefully relocated to the boundary of the cemetery.

Re Calverley St. Philip [2010] John Walford Ch. (Bradford)

The petitioner wished to move her mother's cremated remains from Calverley churchyard to Otley Cemetery. The Chancellor could find no special circumstances to enable him to grant a faculty.

Re Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries [2017] ECC Swk 2

The London Borough of Southwark presented two faculty petitions containing landscaping proposals for consecrated areas of the Camberwell Old Cemetery and the Camberwell New Cemetery respectively. 660 people submitted objections in writing and a further 318 people objected by email. Three of the objectors became parties opponent, but later withdrew as formal objectors. The proposals were designed to provide additional burial space. The Chancellor was satisfied with the proposals and granted a faculty.

Re Castle Bytham Cemetery [2017] ECC Lin 1

The Petitioner and his wife, having moved from Castle Bytham to Grantham, wished to exhume the cremated remains of their late son and re-inter them in Grantham Cemetery. The grounds for making the application were: (1) the petitioner and his wife, due to their age and frailty, were unable to visit the grave at Castle Bytham; and (2) the Petitioner and his wife had purchased a grave at Grantham Cemetery with the intention that their son's remains should be placed their and their own cremated remains would be placed in the same grave in due course. The Chancellor stated that, following the principles laid down in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002], he could not grant a faculty on the first ground, but he granted a faculty on the second ground, because a family grave had been established.

Re Chalcroft Lane Cemetery Bognor Regis [2015] Mark Hill Ch. (Chichester)

A Faculty was refused for the exhumation from the local cemetery of the cremated remains of the petitioner’s late husband, for re-interment in the same grave as the petitioner’s late son in the St. Mary’s churchyard, Bognor Regis. The Chancellor could find no special reason or circumstance to justify him overriding the normal presumption that burial should be final. 

Re Chapel St. Leonards Lawned Cemetery [2023] ECC Lin 1

A widow reserved a grave space next to the grave of her late husband. Owing to a mistake on the part of the burial authority, the body of another person was buried in the grave reserved for the widow. The family of the person whose body had been buried in the reserved grave agreed to exhumation and reinterment in the next grave, and the burial authority agreed to meet the costs. The Chancellor granted a faculty.