St Margaret's Churchyard

The churchyard around St. Margaret’s Church has been closed for burials for over a century, and burials and interment of ashes now take place in the churchyard extension - officially “Whitnash (St. Margaret’s) Churchyard Extension” - located just a short distance to the east of the church and accessed via Church Lane (click here for map).

The use of the term ‘churchyard’ here also includes the Churchyard Extension.

The Churchyard Extension is a peaceful place where people can come for remembrance and quiet reflection and where they can mourn for someone they have loved.   It is natural to want to make the grave or memorial of a loved one special and personal, however as it is a public space, used by many other people including mourners, it is only right that graves and memorials should be established and tended in ways that are acceptable to everyone and that they fit in with their surroundings.

Churchyard regulations

Every churchyard is subject to regulations - a summary document may be accessed here and more information may be found on the Diocese of Coventry website.

These give guidelines about how a churchyard, including graves and memorials, is to be established and cared for. They cover the care and maintenance of existing memorials as well as new ones.

Key points which we would ask all churchyard users to be aware of:

  • Before a headstone or memorial is installed, the design has to be submitted to the Rector and Churchwardens to ensure compliance with the diocesan regulations.
    • This includes kerbs or edgings around the perimeter of the grave.  Memorials can be very expensive and it is in everyone’s best interests to ensure that designs are approved before work commences.
  • Restrictions on loose vases, pots, candle holders, lights or any other ornaments on a grave.
    • These can be easily knocked over and broken leaving debris in the grass which could affect other visitors and maintenance volunteers.
  • Artificial flowers are not allowed on graves or memorial stones.
    • These soon get dirty and faded when left in the open which spoils the beauty of the Churchyard for other mourners.
  • Plastic wrapping must be removed from flowers.
    • Plastic wrappers create unsightly litter and can be dangerous to wildlife.
  • Please keep dogs on a lead - and clean up after them
    • You are welcome to bring your dog into the churchyard but please ensure that it is not allowed to roam free and pick up and dispose of any faeces.

Please note...

If there is something in the churchyard which does not comply with the regulations then the Rector or Churchwardens will first try to contact the family concerned.  The Rector and Churchwardens have the right to remove anything from the churchyard which does not comply with the regulations although of course this will be done in co-operation with the family wherever possible.

Please understand that although the Rector and Churchwardens have this role they are not responsible for writing the regulations.

Flowers left on a grave which have withered and died will be removed as part of the regular maintenance.

The existence of graves or memorials which do not comply with the regulations can not be considered as a precedent that means such contraventions are acceptable now or in the future.

Churchyard Extension maintenance

Our aim is to work together to keep the Churchyard Extension looking beautiful for everyone and we appreciate your co-operation in this.  We are very grateful for the time and effort put in by a number of local volunteers.  Work is currently in progress to clear overgrown areas and generally improve the Churchyard Extension – please click here for the latest report.

For more information about the Churchyard Extension, requests for assistance or if you could help with maintenance, please contact the churchwarden by e-mail st.margaretschurchwarden@hotmail.co.uk or visit the church office during Parish Hour


Churchyard maintenance