The Council is responsible for the administration of the Cemetery, two Gardens of Remembrance as well as St Lawrence's and the Baptist closed churchyard.
The Committee is responsible for overseeing arrangements relating to the maintenance of the grassed and other area areas as well as all matters relating to interments and the setting of fees and regulations. Applications for burials and interments in the Cemeteries are processed by staff in the Council office.
Regulations have been established to facilitate the administration of the Cemetery and Gardens of Remembrance. These mainly reflect accepted good practice but do include one or two provisions of which residents should be aware.
Gardens of Remembrance
The old Garden of Remembrance is now closed for further new interments, other than for additional interments in or near to existing family plots, but this area will continue to be maintained in future years. The new (Jubilee) Garden of Remembrance provides space for new ashes interments for many decades to come.
The Council has provided an area for the scattering of Ashes which allows residents to scatter ashes in a flower bed provided for this purpose; if they wish, they may also purchase a memorial plaque which will be affixed to the surrounding kerb, or reserve a space on the kerb for future years. However, residents must register their intention to scatter ashes with the Council office beforehand, and we'd ask everyone to respect this requirement.
St Lawrence’s Churchyard
Responsibility for maintenance of the closed churchyard was transferred by the Parochial Church Council to the Parish Council in April 2010. Once a churchyard is closed the authority’s income stream from burial fees ceases; legislation therefore exists which enables the church authorities to transfer responsibility for its upkeep to the local council which is able to raise funds for maintenance costs from local tax payers, via Council Tax payments. At that date the Parish Council therefore became responsible for maintenance of the churchyard, boundary walls and railings, and trees. The Parochial Council remains responsible for maintenance of the Church itself. Plots remain the responsibility of the relevant families.
The Council assumed responsibility for maintenance of this space following the closure of the former Baptist Meeting House and Churchyard. The Baptist Union GB remains the owner of the land, whilst the Parish Council maintains the trees and grassed areas. Regent's Park College, Oxford, holds the records for Bourton Baptist Church between 1701-1950.
New burial space
Many residents will already be aware that there is only a finite amount of space at the Cemetery available for burials (the new Garden of Remembrance provides ample space for the interment of ashes well into the future). Whilst this has not yet reached a critical stage, the Committee will be making investigations throughout the coming years to try to identify additional space that may be suitable to create addition al burial space. Until these investigations have progressed further, it has been agreed that no new burial plots will be able to be reserved in advance. Obviously, any plots already reserved will be unaffected by this decision, which will only apply in respect of new applications. The decision will be reviewed periodically as investigations progress.
The fees charged by the Council for burials, interments and the installation of memorials contribute towards the cost of maintaining the Cemeteries, in order to relieve the general burden on tax payers. A schedule of current fees is available on the link at the foot of this page.
Guidance relating to the process for applying for a burial, interment or installation/adjustment of a memorial is set out within the Regulations available on the link at the foot of this page. This guidance is reviewed annually, together with the fee schedule. For information purposes, diagrams showing the maximum dimensions of memorials permitted in the Cemetery and Gardens of Remembrance and the Council's standard Interment Notice are also available via the links below.
Any remaining queries relating to the Cemeteries should be directed to the Clerk at the Council Office, 09.00-15.00, Monday-Friday.