The Churchyard at St. John's is lovingly cared for, and part is set aside as a Conservation Area which is carefully managed by an expert group of local and loyal people. Most of the Churchyard is kept mown for the convenience of visitors and is attractive to small animals and butterflies; part of the grassed area is left unmown during the summer and autumn months to allow certain flowers to thrive, including harebells; and the path to the Church is, unusually, of grass rather than paving.
There is space for burials: 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.
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 Chuchyard handbook:
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.
Conservation Management Plan
prepared by George Millins and local volunteers in June 2018
Please read in conjunction with this map showing numbered areas.
Area 1) Key species present: Pignut, Harebell and reptiles. Rough grass area; to benefit species present and to avoid killing or injuring reptiles, this should be cut AFTER reptiles have hibernated. Cut to a min. of 10cm or 4”, ref. Butterfly Conservation.
2) New reptile & native woodland wild flower habitat.
3) Retained scrub for nesting birds.
4) Retained nettle patch in sunny location for breeding butterflies and reptile foraging.
5) Rough margin for reptile foraging and taller wild flowers.
6) Wild flower area; to allow the Harebell, Pignut, Mousear Hawkweed, the odd Bee Orchid and other flora to bloom, a Spring cut no later than the third week in April or before would be an advantage, this will again result in a wonderful wild flower display for much of the Summer.
7) Rough boundary habitat for reptiles, the post and rail fence provides excellent lizard basking.