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our churchyard

The Churchyard at St. Peter & St. Paul, Little Horkesley is lovingly cared for, and is the final resting place for many centuries of those who have lived in the village. Space for future burials is now limited, but the legal position remains - that anyone who lived in the Parish at the time of their death, or who died in the Parish, has a legal right to be buried in the Churchyard or have their cremated remains interred here. Contact the Vicar for more detailed information.

Churchyard rules

The person with the legal responsibility for making rules about memorials in churchyards is the Chancellor of the Diocese, who is a legal officer of the Bishop - but please contact the Vicar before taking any action, so that no-one falls foul of the rules. 

Here is a copy of the Churchyard Handbook, published by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Chelmsford.

Here are some of the more major rules:

Although there are legal rights in relation to burial and interment, they confer no right of ownership of the soil in which the burial or interment has taken place.   This means that no-one is permitted to place items on a grave without permission.   Anything which is placed in the churchyard without permission is technically a trespass and you can be asked to remove the item or items in question. You must therefore be very careful to ensure that you have obtained permission to place any kind of memorial or other item in the churchyard before you bring it into the churchyard.

Please do not erect a memorial stone or make alterations to a memorial stone without permission.  Please note that colour and type of stone, size, shape, wording and symbols are all restricted.


  • Ensure that the soil on the grave is made level with the surrounding soil at the time a memorial stone is erected or within 12 months of the burial, if sooner

  • Remove dead flowers and wreaths (the churchyard gardener will do this for you if you are not able to do so)


It is not permitted to

  • Erect borders, cages or fences on or around the grave

  • Plant flowers, shrubs or trees on or near the grave

  • Place vases, pots or tubs on or around the grave

  • Place plastic flowers on or near the grave

  • Place photographs, toys, trinkets, windmills or other items on or near the grave.

Having said that, we as a Church wish to be sensitive to the needs of those who grieve, and invite you to contact us for guidance in case of need or doubt.

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