Limited burial spaces warning

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 February 2016

St Andrew's churchyard in Backwell is almost full.

St Andrew's churchyard in Backwell is almost full.

Archant

A Backwell church is warning villagers it is running out of burial space.

The churchyard at St Andrew’s Church is close to being full and leaders have been in negotiations with a landowner for more than four years to ensure there is space for people to be buried in the village in the future.

The church has been trying to purchase the fields below the churchyard, but due to aspects of the owner’s planning applications, which are not connected to the church, it has been unable to complete the sale.

Rector Margi Campbell and the parochial church council (PCC) of St Andrew’s has written to villagers, saying: “This means we now have very limited spaces and no way of knowing when that sale to us will be possible.

“The PCC, having taken the advice of the Diocesan Registrar, has to strictly abide by the following legal requirements.”

Plots are restricted to residents of the parish and those on the electoral roll at the time of death.

Spaces which have already been reserved are safe, but the church can no longer take any reservations for future grave spaces.

Rev Campbell added: “Those who have already got places reserved or have places in family graves are absolutely fine and we will have unlimited space for cremated remains.

“It’s just a temporary situation until we are able to purchase the land. Hopefully, once we are able to purchase it there will be plenty of room.”

No burials will be permitted in the churchyard unless they comply with the criteria.

The letter from Rev Campbell and the PCC adds: “We want to assure parishioners we have done our utmost to try to avoid this scenario and will continue to work tirelessly towards the time when we will be able to purchase the land and thus extend the churchyard for the benefit of the village long into the future.”

Leaders are also asking for legal permission to reuse areas of the churchyard with no memorials where graves are over 75 years old.

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