In The Parish of Kingswinford, St. Mary


St. Mary's Churchyard

Who Can Be Buried In The Graveyard?

Future burials in St Mary's churchyard which require a fresh plot will only be possible for:

  • those who are resident within the Team Parish boundaries

  • or who die within the parish

  • or who are on the electoral roll of the Team Parish.

Where people do not fulfil these criteria, but feel they have particularly strong parish connections, they may apply to the District Church Council for St Mary's. However, permission for a fresh burial for someone who does not fulfil the criteria will not normally be granted.

Only those who are having a reopening of an existing grave will be permitted to be buried, if they do not fulfil the criteria for a fresh plot.

This policy will also apply to cremated remains. Where the person whose ashes are to be interred does not qualify for a fresh plot then they may be placed in the top of an existing full-sized family burial plot. No more than two cremated remains will be allowed in the top of a particular grave. The interments may be commemorated by a flat slab only or by adding an inscription on the headstone, where there is space. Alternatively, where there is space for a second burial, in an ashes plot, then that may be reopened.

What Sort of Memorials Are OK?

Most people like to mark the grave of their loved ones if they can and usually this is done by arranging for a stone of some kind. The Church of England has rules about the type of monuments you can have and these are different to those in a cemetery run by the local council. They are there to help you choose the sort of memorial that will make sure that the churchyard stays a peaceful and beautiful place for everyone who uses it. St Mary's is over a thousand years old and is protected by law to preserve its historic character.

Whatever memorial you choose must be approved by the church, and the mason you use will ask Revd. Giles about the monument before he can begin work on it. Some things that cannot be allowed under the church rules are freestanding stone vases, statues, angels, pictures of the deceased or lights. Because this is a Christian graveyard, any words you put on the stone (apart from your loved one's name) must be broadly Christian.

It's lovely to decorate graves with fresh flowers but please don't add extra decorations. This often upsets other users of the churchyard and it will upset you if they are moved or stolen. Adding items such as lanterns, vases, toys, bells, statues, or garden ornaments is not allowed.

Remembering Your Loved One

Christians believe that our loved ones who have passed away are now safe with God and free from all pain and harm. Jesus promises that one day we will be reunited, but we would not be human if we did not miss our loved ones who have died. At St Mary's we have regular memorial services for those who have died and Revd. Giles is also available if you feel you need time to talk about your loss.

Who Looks After The Graveyard?

St Mary's churchyard is looked after by volunteers as we do not receive any money from the council, or other groups, to keep it tidy. We rely on our volunteers to cut the grass and keep weeds down, which is a huge job. Some people look after their family graves but not everyone can. If you have some spare time, and like fresh air, you might want to join our churchyard team, just contact one of our churchwardens for more information.