Cemetery Regulations

Parish Pastoral Council of St Edmund’s, Bungay


1. The churchyard cemetery at St Edmund’s, Bungay, is practically full and consequently only those with a spouse buried in an existing double grave can expect automatic permission for the burial of their body. The regulations for burial of cremated ashes are less stringent (see Para 6 below).

2. Permission for burials other than as specified above will be considered only if the dead person was a regularly practising Catholic in the congregation of St Edmund’s, Bungay, or St Thomas More’s, Harleston, of at least five years standing at the time of death; becoming housebound; or being hospitalised. Decisions in such cases are at the absolute discretion of the Parish Priest. Permissions will rarely be granted and may soon cease altogether.

3. The cemetery is a sacred place, and gravestones and markers of burial places must therefore conform to the norms of Church law and also to the particular norms which follow. No gravestone or other markers of a burial place may be placed in the cemetery unless the design has received the approval of the Parish Priest. Fees chargeable for burials and for the erection of memorials are according to the regulations of the Church of England.

4. The purpose of a gravestone or a marker of a burial place is a) to indicate the place where the body or the ashes of the dead person have been interred; b) to express the Christian faith of the dead person; c) to ask those who visit the cemetery to pray for the dead person.

5. Permission to erect a gravestone or a marker will normally be granted subject to the conditions which follow. Where ancient graves are being re-used, the memorial should take the form specified in Para 6 below for the burial of ashes.

a) A burial marker should be of stone and placed at the head of the body with the inscription orientated in the same direction as those on adjacent graves.

b) A gravestone should be of unpolished stone of a slate, grey or sandstone colour with a curved or flat top. The base of a gravestone should not exceed 30″ x 18″: it should be level with the ground and without a curb or gravel. The tablet should not be more than 32″ high (including its plinth) and 22″ wide. The structure should be firmly anchored in accordance with current Health and Safety regulations. A single sunken container for fresh cut flowers may be provided on the plinth. An incised cross is desirable but no statues, images, photographs or decorative carving will be allowed. There should be an inscription on a gravestone in plain lettering recording at least the name of the dead person and his or her age or years of birth and death. Any further inscription should be brief and should normally be restricted to expressions in keeping with the Christian faith, such as requests for prayers or an indication of very close relationships. Expressions of a sentimental nature are discouraged and expressions which are not in keeping with the sacred nature of the place will not be approved. The total number of words (including provision for words to be added later to a double grave) should not exceed 34.

6. Permission for the burial of cremated ashes in a part of the graveyard specified by the Parish Priest or within an existing family grave will normally be granted for those specified in Para 2 above. The burial place (other than in existing graves) may be marked by a small wooden cross with minimal wording on a brass plate. It should be understood, however, that wooden memorials are of their nature temporary and may be removed when decayed. More permanent memorials are to take the form of stone tablets set flat at ground level and measuring no more than 15″ x 12″. The inscription (see Para 5b above) should not exceed 26 words.

7. Flowers should be natural and fresh, and kept very near the headstone to leave free passage for the motor mower. Plastic flowers, wraps, toys, hardware etc. are not permitted.

8. Graves (land) remain the property of the church trustees who can accept no responsibility for loss or damage to memorials, vases etc. The cemetery at St Edmund’s is within the curtilage of a Listed Building (Grade 2*) and any variation from these approved Regulations requires a Faculty from the appropriate Listed Building Authority and/or the Historic Churches Committee of the Diocese of East Anglia.