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Graves in the Churchyard

Churchyard regulations are made by the Salisbury Diocese and of course affect all the Diocesan Churchyards like our own (as opposed to Local Authority controlled Cemeteries, which have different rules). Our Diocese covers Dorset and Wiltshire and so the regulations are made for a very large area and not just our parish. One purpose, among others, is to ensure that the churchyards and their memorials accurately reflect the Church's teaching about the sensitive topics of death and resurrection. Other purposes are to set out expectations to avoid upsetting other families who also have relatives buried in the churchyards, and to preserve the historic nature of the environment around important listed buildings.

There has been concern for a long time from several quarters that some graves have had additions made to them that are not permitted under the Diocesan Churchyard regulations. We have written to the families concerned personally to explain what is needed to be done. We have also displayed notices in the Churchyard although some of these have almost certainly been deliberately removed. However, the legal validity of the process underlying them is unaffected. The following notice was posted in the churchyard on the 11th May 2017:

Diocesan Churchyard Regulations

A reminder that all items apart from an authorised headstone or wooden marker should be removed from graves in accordance with Diocesan regulations. Any items not removed by June 10th will be collected and stored for a short time, should you wish to collect them. Thank you to all those who have responded to previous requests.

You will be aware that the churchyard extension is now complete. The PCC has allocated scarce resources to ensure that the parish has access to a churchyard and we now have one of the largest in the Diocese. Obviously this comes with costs; complying with the regulations helps to keep down costs and ensures that the churchyard, which is a public place, remains a well-kept, restful and respectful place.

Incumbent and PCC


In addition to the diocesan regulations, each parish is encouraged to have their own local regulations. Copies of Holy Rood’s Regulations are displayed in the church porch and in the churchyard. You may download Holy Rood’s Regulations here:

Churchyard Regulations for a Burial in the Churchyard of the Church of the Holy Rood, Wool.pdf

Relatives or next of kin have, in all cases in this parish, a discussion along these lines, and read and sign a copy of the regulations before a burial with a memorial is permitted.

The rest of the important information for anyone tending graves in the churchyard or who has a relative or loved one interred here in Wool, is to be found on the Diocesan Website which has the definitive and latest versions at:


(Copies of some relevant documents from Salisbury have been posted within this section for convenience, but it will not necessarily always be guaranteed to be the up-to-date version in time to come. The above link shows the place where documents are obtainable from Salisbury Diocese itself.)



Wool Churchyard Regulations

Churchyard Regulations for a Burial in the Churchyard of the Church of the Holy Rood, Wool.pdf



Copies of  Salisbury Churchyard Regulations (files obtained from the following link on 28th May 2017)


These are .pdf format files that almost all computers can open. Usually clicking on the link opens it in a new tab or window allowing you to read the text; if not, you may need to right-click the link and select "Download as" from the context menu that will then appear. Some of these are scanned and reprocessed copies of the originals and for help and general assistance only - for the current and original format official documents you should download them direct from:



Salisbury Guidance for Families on Churchyard Matters - May 2016.pdf

Salisbury General Guidance on Churchyard Matters - May 2016.pdf

Salisbury Churchyard Regulations - May 2016.pdf [This is quite a lengthy document stating the law rather than a simple explanation]

Application Form for Memorial - with request for additional inscriptions - Oct 2016.pdf [The Salisbury original version is a .docx format document allowing it to be filled in using Microsoft Word or a compatible word processor; our copy is a .pdf transcript that simply gives the text.)

Grave Space Reservation- notes for petitioners [Added Dec 2017]



If you have checked the documents referred to above, and have any resultant concerns about a grave you tend or are associated with, please make them known to the Vicar or one of the Churchwardens.












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Copyright © 2004 Holy Rood Church, Wool
Last modified: Monday, 02 November 2020