The parish Churchyard is a place of history and remembrance and as such is special to people far beyond the immediate church congregation. It is also frequently a rare conservation area, home to diverse species of plants and wildlife. In both cases it deserves our protection. As a result, there are regulations that help to maintain that protection, and more information on these may be found in the downloads below.

DAC Guidance on Churchyards

Churchyard Memorials

For a flow chart explaining how to gain permission to place a memorial in a churchyard, click here.

If the stone is to be a hand-crafted monument which is individually designed and of artistic merit, the process may be different, click here for a flow chart.

Churchyard Regulations 2013
(Contains application form for introduction of a monument or tablet in a churchyard)

Petition for Faculty for a Memorial/Headstone

Church Buildings Council guidance on Memorials

Diocesan policy for the re-use of churchyards for burials

For any queries relating to the reservation of a grave space, exhumations, or the closure of a churchyard, please contact the Diocesan Registry on 01392 210700.

Churchyard Trees

Please be aware that some work on trees in churchyards may require a faculty so it is a good idea to consult the Church buildings office for advice. Information on applying for a Faculty or List B for work on trees in your churchyard can be found here.

Church Buildings Council guidance on trees along with a Short Summary

Churchyard Wildlife

Churchyards represent a precious resource which can make a huge contribution to the biodiversity of the country and engage and educate the wider community. As wildlife havens they are home to a wide variety of species, and as a result good management is essential. Church Care provide some excellent guidance on caring for the wildlife in your churchyards which can be found here.

Caring for God’s Acre, Devon Churches Green Action, and EcoChurch South West also provide helpful guidance on living churchyards and supporting wildlife in your parish.

Churchyard Noticeboards

DAC Guidance on Noticeboards 2019

Useful Links

Churchyards contain a wealth of local and family history, but as time and tempest take their toll of our ancestors’ graves there is a real risk of this history being lost forever. CemRec seeks to provide a simple format for recording headstones, promoting awareness and interest ​in our past amongst local communities and family historians. ​​The site is not commercial and all software used is freely available.