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Proposed Closure of St Dunstan's Churchyard


The Parochial Church Council of Cheam Parish has applied to the Ministry of Justice under Section 1 of the Burials Act 1853 to close the churchyard of St Dunstan's Church for new burials. No burials have taken place since 2014 because we no longer have space.


What does this mean in practice?

  • The churchyard will remain open to the public;

  • Full burials will be discontinued, other than in existing plots where the right conditions apply;

  • The internment of ashes can continue either in new plots (whilst we have space) or in existing plots;

  • Responsibility for the care of the churchyard will pass to Sutton Council.


We are required by the Ministry of Justice to publish the following notice. This will also be displayed around the church building. Any representations should be made to the address at the bottom of the notice.



PROPOSED CLOSURE OF

St Dunstan’s Cheam Churchyard, Cheam, Sutton, Surrey


Notice is hereby given that it is the intention of the Secretary of State for Justice, acting on an application by the incumbent and churchwardens, to apply to the Privy Council for an Order requiring the discontinuance of burials in the above churchyard.

Provision would be made for the following exceptions:


1. in any vault or walled grave in the churchyard, burial may be allowed but every coffin in such vault or grave must be separately enclosed by stonework or brick work properly cemented;


2. in any existing earthen grave in the churchyard, the burial may be allowed of the body of any member of the family of the person or persons previously buried in that grave, but no part of the coffin containing the body shall be less than one metre below the level of the surface of the ground adjoining the grave; and


3. in any grave space in which no interment has previously taken place, the burial may be allowed of any person for whom, or any member of the family for which that grave space has been reserved and appropriated, with the exclusive right of burial there, but no part of the coffin containing the body shall be less than one metre below the level of the surface of the ground adjoining the grave.


Any representations about the proposed closure should be sent to the Coroners and Burials Team, Ministry of Justice, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ (quoting reference CC/DEC21/022) within 21 days of this publication.


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