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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2022 judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022

Re Wetheral Cemetery [2020] ECC Car 2

The petitioner sought a faculty for the exhumation of the remains of the person buried in plot C71 in Wetheral Cemetery ("the deceased"), as the petitioner had purchased plot C71 many years earlier, next to plots reserved for members of her family. There were two pairs of family plots either side of a path. The deceased had reserved plot C77, but unfortunately at the time of his burial, the burial authority's record reading C77 was misread as C71. The deceased's family strongly objected to the exhumation. The burial authority accepted that they had made a mistake and offered the petitioner a choice of plots next to the remaining three family plots. The Deputy Chancellor determined not to grant a faculty. He considered the views of the deceased's family as significant, that the delay in petitioning was also a factor, and he also attached weight to the offer by the burial authority of alternative plots next to the other family plots.

Re Widnes Cemetery [2022] ECC Liv 3

edging stones, and it had been anticipated that the deceased's cremated remains would be interred in the family grave, but they were in fact interred between the edging stones and the adjacent path. An application was made a few days after the interment for exhumation of the casket containing the deceased's ashes and reinterment within the family grave. The Chancellor decided that an error or misunderstanding had occurred, which, combined with the prompt request for rectification, amounted to an exceptional circumstance which would justify the grant of a faculty for exhumation and reinterment as requested.

Re Wigton Cemetery [2023] ECC Car 1

The petitioner's late husband was buried in the cemetery in 1961. The petitioner wished to have her husband's coffin exhumed, the grave dug deeper and the coffin reinterred in the grave, so that in due course the Petitioner could be buried with her husband. The Chancellor decided that the deepening of the grave to create a family grave was an appropriate reason for granting a faculty.

Re Wilkes [2013] John Walford Ch. (Bradford)

Faculty for exhumation refused. Moving remains nearer to where the family lives not an exceptional circumstance to justify the grant of a Faculty.

Re William Nooney deceased [2020] ECC Bri 3

The petitioner's husband, a Roman Catholic, had wanted to be buried at Avonview Cemetery, where other family members were buried, but when he died in 1995 no further burials were being allowed at Avonview Cemetery. He was buried at Filton Cemetery in a grave chosen or accepted by the funeral directors. In 2018 burials were resumed at Avonview Cemetery, due to paths and previously unused land being set aside for burials. The petitioner became aware that the area of Filton Cemetery where her husband was buried was consecrated in accordance with the rites of the Church of England. She therefore wished to have his remains exhumed and reinterred at Avonview Cemetery. The Chancellor determined that there had been a mistake by the funeral directors in organising the interment in the Anglican area of Filton Cemetery, which would amount to exceptional circumstances justifying exhumation, as identified in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] 3 WLR 603. The funeral directors were ordered to pay the costs of the petition.

Re William Rudd Wilson, Deceased [2024] ECC Car 1

In 1978, the petitioner’s son, aged 2 years and ten months, had died and had been buried in plot 126 in Whitehaven Cemetery. In 1997, the petitioner’s former father-in-law had died and his family, without the involvement of an undertaker or the burial authority, had interred his ashes by pouring them into a shallow hole in the same plot. It had always been the wish of the petitioner to be buried with his son, but the shallow interment of his former father-in-law’s ashes now prevented this. The petitioner therefore requested permission for his father-in-law’s ashes to be exhumed and reinterred in another plot in the cemetery (Plot 563) owned by the petitioner’s former wife. The burial authority were satisfied that the ashes could be exhumed intact. The Chancellor decided that there were exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of a faculty: there had been a mistake by the petitioner’s father-in-law’s family, in that they had not appreciated the consequences of preventing further interments in plot 126. Also, it was desirable to move the ashes of the petitioner’s father-in-law to plot 563, which was a family plot where the remains of the petitioner’s former mother-in-law and her son had already been interred.

Re Wolseley Road Cemetery Rugeley [2013] Stephen Eyre Ch. (Lichfield)

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of her mother, who died in 1978, exhumed from Wolseley Road Cemetery, in order that the remains might be reinterred with the cremated remains of her father (whose remains had not yet been interred) in a new cemetery at Stile Cop. Applying the principles laid down by the Court of Arches in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, the determined that this was not a case where there were special circumstances which would justify the grant of a faculty.

Re Woolwich Cemetery [2016] ECC Swk 2

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.

Re Wymondham Abbey [2013] Ruth Arlow Ch. (Norwich)

Petition seeking a faculty for "significant extension and reordering works to this substantial parish church. The principal purpose of the proposed works is to open up the church building and create a flexible learning and interpretation centre (‘the Abbey Experience’) within this ancient church." Reservations expressed by SPAB, EH and CBC. In granting the Faculty, the Chancellor states, "I am entirely satisfied that the public benefit to flow from these changes outweighs any harm which may be caused to the significance of the building."

Re York Minster [2016] ECC Yor 3

The Chancellor, for two reasons, dismissed an application by a private individual for an injunction to stop the Dean & Chapter of York Minster preventing the ringing of the Minster bells. Firstly, the Chancellor had no jurisdiction over the cathedral church of the diocese; and secondly, "the injunctive powers given to Chancellors is in relation to unlawful activity in relation to the church or the churchyard, but only such activity the nature of which would require a faculty to be granted for it to be done lawfully. The use or non-use of the church, the conduct of services in the church and the ringing or non-ringing of bells would not fall within the jurisdiction of the consistory court in a parish church."