Display:

Two petitions and two pending petitions relating to the exhumation of cremated remains, currently stored in a municipal cemetery on a temporary basis in non-biodegradable urns beneath plaques, on the expiration of the initial licences.  The chancellor considered the need for a faculty in such a situation, and indicated that he would be minded to grant a faculty where it could be shown that the original interment was never intended to be permanent. Faculties would also be granted in two cases on the basis of reinterment in a family grave elsewhere.

A faculty was sought to permit the exhumation of the remains of a husband, in order that they might be interred with the remains of his wife in another grave in the same cemetery. His wife had expressed a wish in her will to be buried with her husband, but her husband's remains had been interred in a family grave where there had previously been three interments and there was no more room for further interments. The Chancellor determined that the circumstances justified an exception to the general rule against exhumation, so as to create a family grave in which the remains of both husband and wife could be buried together.

The petitioners wished to exhume their father's cremated remains and to scatter the ashes with the ashes of the petitioner's mother (recently deceased) at a favourite spot in the Lake District. The petitioners' father had expressed a wish to have his ashes scattered in the Lake District, but the petitioners had agreed with their mother at the time of her husband's funeral to bury the ashes in the Cemetery. Now that their mother had died, the petitioner's wished to comply with their father's wishes, which their mother had agreed to before she died. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. In accordance with the principles laid down by the Court of Arches in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002], remains should only be exhumed in exceptional circumstances. The petitioners could not argue that there had been a mistake in dealing with their father's ashes as they and their mother had agreed to interment in the Cemetery. A change of mind as to a place of burial did not amount to an exceptional circumstance. The proposal to scatter the ashes was an additional reason for refusing a faculty.

The Chancellor granted a faculty to allow the pews in the nave to be replaced with chairs, subject to the chairs being stained to match the other furniture in the Abbey.

The Dean of Arches refused the Victorian Society leave to appeal against the decision of the Chancellor of the Diocese to allow the replacement of the Abbey's nave pews with chairs.

Decision on costs in respect of the Re Bath Abbey [2018] EACC 1.

It had been the wish of George Nicholson to be buried in the grave of his father, who had died in 1945 and was buried in the War Graves section of Benton Cemetery. When George Nicholson died in 2018, his ashes were placed in the grave marked by his father's memorial. In 2019, when George Nicholson's sister died, and it was proposed to inter her ashes in her father's grave, it was discovered that in 2006 the Commonwealth War Graves Commission had removed the memorial of George Nicholson's father and also the adjacent memorial for restoration work and the two memorials had been replaced the wrong way round, so that George Nicholson's ashes had been placed in the grave next to his father's. The burial authority applied for a faculty to rectify the mistake by the exhumation of George Nicholson's ashes from the neighbouring grave, so that they could be interred in his father's grave. The Deputy Chancellor determined that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty for exhumation and reinterment.

Owing to an administrative error on the part of the burial authority, some cremated remains had not been buried in the grave purchased by the deceased, but in a grave already containing the cremated remains of a married couple. The Chancellor determined that the exceptional circumstances justified the grant of a faculty for exhumation and reinterment.

Faculty refused for the exhumation from a cemetery of the cremated remains of a child buried in 1960, and reinterment in the churchyard of a parish to which the parents had moved. The Chancellor took into account the time since the interment, and also did not accept the Petitioner's argument that the deterioration in the care of the cemetery justified him in making an exception to the presumption against exhumation.

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of her daughter, who had died in in a tragic accident in 1998, exhumed from a grave in Parkside Road Cemetery in Kendal and reinteered with the remains of the petitioner's recently deceased father in another grave in the same cemetery. For a number of reasons, including the fact that the father's remains could be interred in the same grave as the daughter, the Chancellor declined to grant the faculty sought, because he did not accept that any exception was warranted by the facts of this case to the presumption of the permanence of Christian burial.