This page provides detailed guidance on all aspects of churchyard maintenance, safety and regulations. There is a great deal of information on the Parish Resources and ChurchCare website and helpful publications are produced by Ecclesiastical Insurance.
The Diocese of Blackburn revised its Churchyard Regulations in 2014. This provides the legal framework for burials, gravestones, and when the Parish Priest may give permission to erect a memorial under their delegated authority, or when a faculty is required.
Memorial safety testing
PCCs are legally responsible for the active management of safety in their churchyards. Even if a churchyard is closed and maintained by the local authority, PCCs still have a duty to ensure that the local authority takes all reasonable action on potentially dangerous memorials. New guidance (January 2009) is available from the link to the Ministry of Justice website below. Clearly, any laying down of memorials needs to be handled sensitively and proportionately, with due consultation with all interested parties.
Some parishes have found it cost effective to use contractors to undertake memorial testing (often called “topple testing”) in their churchyards. Parishes can choose to do this work themselves but must first have received appropriate training. If they require training it is recommended that they organise sufficient numbers of potential trainees locally and approach a suitable training provider.
Health and Safety in Churchyards
Guidance from the Diocesan Registrar is also available
There is also information available on
Commonwealth War Graves
Please CLICK HERE for information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission with regards to increase awareness of the location of War Graves in Church of England churchyards in the Blackburn Diocese, and their intention to erect signs at churchyards which contain such memorials.