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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 4 June 2020

Index by Dioceses of all judgments on this web site, as at 4 June 2020

Exhumations

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Cremated remains of two people had been buried in a grave already reserved for someone else. The Chancellor granted a Faculty for exhumation and reinterment in another part of the cemetery, on the ground that a genuine mistake had been made. Normally, the Chancellor would have directed that the exhumation should take place as soon as possible, but in this he acceded to the request of the petitioner, out of respect for his particular faith, that the exhumation should not take place within one year of the interment, whilst at the same time expressing the hope that an earlier date might be agreed,in order to alleviate the concerns of the person who had reserved the grave.

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of his late wife, who died in 2013, exhumed from the churchyard at Barnby Dun, in South Yorkshire, and re-interred in Littlehampton Cemetery, in West Sussex. The petitioner and his two sons lived in West Sussex, and considered it to have been a mistake for the deceased's remains to have been buried in Barnby Dun, close to the remains of her parents. Also, one of the petitioner's sons, who was very close to his mother, suffered from severe physical disabilities, and was unable to visit his mother's grave 250 miles away without support. Following the test for exceptionality suggested by the Chancery Court of York in Re Christ Church Alsager [1998] 3 WLR 1394 -  "Is there a good and proper reason for exhumation, that reason being likely to be regarded as acceptable by right thinking members of the Church at large?" - the Chancellor decided that this  was an exceptional case which justified the grant of a faculty for exhumation.