Traditional Burial

A “traditional burial” in the UK involves the internment of the deceased’s body, usually in a deep grave at a cemetary or churchyard.

The majority of cemeteries are non-denominational, and so most types of funeral service or ceremony can be conducted there. Advice will also be available from the ministers of the religion or religious organisation that the deceased may have belonged to. Obviously if you choose to be buried in a churchyard, then the type of funeral/ceremony will be dictated by the particular faith practiced there.

Grave Plots in cemeteries can be pre-purchased. The person who has died may already have arranged a grave space in a churchyard or cemetery which may be included in the will or papers. If space has already been paid for in a cemetery there will be a Deed of Grant, which should be amongst the deceased papers.

The fees vary with plots costing anything from £30 to a few thousand, depending on the location. People should be aware that because of pressure of space, particularly in bigger cities, most burial plots are sold on a system of leasehold of usually 50-75 years with 100 years being the maximum. When a lease is coming to its end, the relatives of the deceased are usually sort, to consider extending it for a fee. However, with families moving around a lot these days, contact can be very difficult if not impossible to achieve.

Consecrated churchyards are slightly different. Every parishioner has a right of burial in their local churchyard, provided there is space available and the churchyard has not been closed for burials by Order of the Council. In addition, any person whose name is on the electoral roll of the parish at the time of their death also has a right to burial, as does any person dying in the parish, whoever that person is. Any exceptions to this must have the consent of the church authority who’s decision is final, and some churches and parishes have their own slight variations (especially when it comes to memorial types), so best to check with the local priest or minister first.

Around 1/3 of the population still choose to be buried in traditional churchyards and cemeteries, meaning that room for over 160,000 new graves has to be found every year, which in some overcrowded urban environments, is starting to be a problem.

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