Burial in a cemetery

A cemetery is different to a churchyard. Churchyards are consecrated tracts of land connected to churches physically or by their ownership by the Church of England. Cemeteries are for the most part owned by local authorities and managed under civil legislation.

A survey of burial grounds of England and Wales was carried out in 2006 by the now termed Ministry of Justice. Over 9,747 burial sites were counted in the survey of which 2,907 were cemeteries.

Increasing number privately owned

An increasing number of cemeteries are owned by private companies.

Non denominational

Although cemeteries are usually non denominational, they will usually contain reserved areas dedicated to specified religions.

A right to be buried

Anyone living in a local authority area has the right to be buried in the authority’s cemetery. People living outside the area may be allowed but on payment of a higher burial fee.

Increasing problem of lack of space

There is an increasing problem of lack of space. According to a survey conducted by BBC Local Radio in 2013, a quarter of cemeteries in England will be full within the next ten years, and 44 per cent will have run out of room for new graves within the next 20 years. One solution now being discussed is re-using graves after a period of seventy five or one hundred years.

Speak to the local authority

A good starting point, if the deceased person expressed a wish to be buried in a specific cemetery, or in the absence instructions you want them to be buried there, you should speak with your local authority or private company.

They will be able to confirm availability and the arrangements that will need to be made.

Please note

The information which we provide through Lasting Post is in outline for information or educational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser. We cannot guarantee that information provided by Lasting Post will meet your individual needs, as this will very much depend on your individual circumstances. You should therefore use the information only as a starting point for your enquiries.