Every parish church wishes its churchyard to be a place of peace and refuge for those who mourn and to be a place where the mortal remains of their loved ones can rest safely. We hope such provision will be an expression of the care and love the church seeks to extend to the whole community and underline its belief that the welfare of both the living and departed is important to God.
As far as possible the church tries to ensure that everyone who uses their churchyard is treated with fairness, equality and consistency. To that end, each churchyard is governed by a set of Regulations which are issued by the Chancellor of the Diocese, and which say what is or is not allowed unless special permission has been given in a particular case by the Chancellor. If there is a good reason in an individual case for allowing a memorial which is different from those which are allowed by the Regulations then the Chancellor will consider whether to authorise such a memorial but that permission can only be given by the Chancellor and the local clergy and churchwardens are required to respect the Regulations. This means that the local clergy and churchwardens cannot permit every kind of memorial or grave design and cannot allow a memorial which is outside the Regulations.
Sometimes families are surprised that the choice of the memorial to their loved one cannot be a matter of private choice but has to fit in with what the Regulations direct. The Regulations do allow room for individuality and imagination in the design of memorials but within certain limits and there are good reasons for this, to do with the special nature of Churchyards
• An extension of the church’s witness to God and his promise of eternal life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What is put in churchyards therefore needs to be consistent with the spiritual values of the Christian faith.
• Historical places. The clergy are stewards of a very long heritage which needs to be preserved and passed on to the next generation.
• Shared spaces. Here the differing tastes and traditions of many families need to be kept in harmony with each other, so that discord and conflict can hopefully be avoided.
In short, the Regulations aim to maintain the churchyard as a haven which in appearance and atmosphere ensures that all can find space for peaceful reflection and dignified remembrance of their loved ones.
You can read the Regulations for yourself by visiting the Lichfield Diocesan website:
The final authority for deciding which memorials can or cannot be placed in a churchyard lies with the Chancellor and if a family are not content with the decision of the local church or if they wish to have a memorial which is different from those which are permitted by the Regulations they can apply directly to him. This is done via the Diocesan Registry
(firstname.lastname@example.org or 01952 211303).
Memorial stones are normally ordered through funeral directors or stone masons. They will advise of any local restrictions and will help you make an application.
St Peters graveyard is open for burials and internment of cremated remains for people who were resident in the parish.
Holy Trinity Oakengates and Holy Trinity Wrockwardine Wood are only open for internment of cremated remains.