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 Post subject: Over-burying
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:31 am 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
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Location: Staffordshire
I'm curious to know what people think about the idea of over-burying. This is when an old grave is re-used.
A village church in my area is running out of burial ground and hopes to begin over-burying, using graves that are more than 70 years old. If they do not do this, the churchyard will be declared closed for burials and this can not be undone. It is a popular little church and many of the parishioner have expressed a desire to be buried within the church grounds. The Rev'd has made his intentions clear - first raising the issue within his parish to which he got a mostly positive response, and then with an article in the local paper to get the opinions of people within the city.
I have ancestors in this particular churchyard and have contacted the Rev'd with my queries but I just wondered what other people think.

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 Post subject: Re: Over-burying
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:37 am 
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Location: Near Chorley
Interesting one, I will give it some thought. Initially, I wouldn't have thought there would be a problem, but I am not a religious person. If the members of the church have no problem, then I don't see one either.
However, I thought the family of the person/people in the grave owned the grave, I don't know how you get around that one. I know I have ancestors who bought plots, as no doubt we all did.

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 Post subject: Re: Over-burying
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:16 pm 
Spider Lady
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I had a lovely response from the Reverend which answered my queries and a couple that I hadn't really thought about. I do think over-burying is the way forward with burial space in the UK rapidly running out.
My main concerns though were the remains already in the grave and also the headstones already on the graves.
These were the answers received:
As and when any remains are uncovered (which is not common) the gravedigger puts them to one side; when the grave has been dug, s/he then places the remains respectfully at the bottom, and covers them before the fresh burial is made. Thereafter, for the next 70 years they'll be undisturbed, though a new family burial could be made on top, as at present (and as with your family).
If there's an existing headstone we need a faculty to remove it. I favour the simpler approach - leave graves that have a stone undisturbed. IF at some point in the future it's felt by the Incumbent & PCC that the stone needs to be moved (maybe for safety reasons because it's become unstable), it would probably be moved to one side of the churchyard.


I also wondered if this would only postpone the problem. The Reverend assured me that the area that they plan to use would 'keep them in graves for another 100 years.' It's not that big an area really but they have given this a lot of thought and discussion.

So, even though I have the answer to my questions, I'd still be interested in other peoples thoughts on the matter. This is something that I think will get more common as the years go by, the Reverend also implied that in one of his responses to me. Other Parishes are already doing this.

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 Post subject: Re: Over-burying
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:08 pm
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My Gran died in 1940 at the time she was buried in a paupers grave, we found her grave a few years ago and had a headstone erected, ever since I have paid an annual sum of money to have the grave maintained as I cannot do it myself as she is buried in York cemetary, I know that when I pop my clogs that another member of the family will carry on with the maintainance. This grave is 69 years old now and well looked after, I would hate for her to have a 'stranger' buried above her, and her baby daughter that is buried with her. So what would happen in those circumstances. I manage to get to her grave about 3 times a year, dont think I would like it if another family turned up to visit 'their' relative in the same resting place, at the same time as me, as I like a little quite time there on my own, especially coming from a distance away.


Stephanie.


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 Post subject: Re: Over-burying
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:00 pm 
Spider Lady
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Location: Staffordshire
I'm not sure Stephanie. I would imagine that each Parish (or Diocese?) has its own thoughts on what should or shouldn't be done.
The church in Stoke that has raised the issue says it will not re-use graves that have a legible stone still standing.

What does concern me in the instances is the H&S body who declare a stone unsafe. Will it become unsafe through convenience?

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 Post subject: Re: Over-burying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:19 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:19 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Sussex
In Venice the dead are buried for 12 years, then the remains are removed to an ossuary, its just a matter of what you are used to. There are hundreds of years worth of mixed up burials in the graveyards of any ancient Briitsh church.


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