Churches in this Benefice follow the C of E safeguarding policy

Churchyard Rules & R​egulations

The information on this page applies to the Church Burial Grounds at, St Botolph’s, Eastwick, St James, High Wych and St Mary’s Gilston.

The churchyards are covered by the laws and regulations which are detailed in the churchyard regulations in St Albans Diocese. HERE 

This brief guide is intended to provide an overview of the current position, but it is recommended that you read the full regulations.

A copy of the diocese Churchyard Handbook, - Guide For Families is available in the church or HERE

St. James
St. Botolph
St. Mary The Virgin
A summary of the rules 

Maintenance of Graves

The church is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the Burial Ground. New graves and re-opened graves will suffer from settlement for some time after an interment. If necessary, the gravediggers will, from time to time, ‘top up’ these graves with fresh topsoil until they become level with the surrounding ground. This settlement is a natural process due to the nature of the soil.

Memorial Stones

Please contact a reputable monumental mason, who will be aware of the St Albans Diocesan guidelines for churchyards. They will advise you on suitable inscriptions and the fees payable. They will also assist you in applying for permission to erect the memorial from the Vicar or, in rare cases, from the Chancellor of the Diocese. 

A minimum of six months should elapse between the burial and erection of the headstone. This gives time for the ground to settle and reduces the likelihood of the headstone leaning in the future.

Once the stone is in place, it becomes your responsibility to maintain the stone. If the stone starts to lean, please contact the stonemason and ask for it to be corrected. In no circumstances should anyone other than a qualified stonemason carry out this work as the stones are very heavy.

 Permission should always be sought from the parish priest if a memorial stone needs to be taken away for repair or additional inscription, so that there is no cause for concern that the stone or the grave might have been tampered with.