We are very aware that you will have many things on your mind at present and that this page is one more piece of information. However, it has to be provided so that you are fully aware of the regulations that apply. We also hope the general information about the churchyard will be helpful.

Please remember that a memorial stone or an additional inscription on a headstone is not a necessity, but if desired the correct procedure must be followed in the months to come.

If you have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact the Parish via Email

St. Peter’s churchyard is a place of history. The oldest stones date from the 6th century. It is also a place of beauty with the church, coastal surroundings and the views across Morecambe Bay to the mountains of Cumbria. Most important of all it is a place held dear by many in our community because the remains of their loved ones are buried there. Our prime concern is that the churchyard should be a beautiful and dignified resting place.

The Law

The purpose of most regulations is to preserve the rights of the majority and to curb the excesses of the few. Many people are surprised to discover that what goes on in a churchyard is controlled by the laws of England. In general, nothing may be placed in the churchyard without permission. Some regulations may be issued by the Diocese and concern the type of memorial that may be erected. Other regulations may be issued by the parish and control the day to day management of the churchyard.

By law the churchyard is owned by the Rector but he is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of the Diocese. The parish of Heysham is in the Diocese of Blackburn. When it comes to churchyards the Bishop works through the Chancellor, who is his senior legal officer. He is the ultimate authority when it comes to memorials. The Chancellor gives the Rector limited authority to permit the erection of memorials so long as they fall within the terms and conditions he has set out.

Book of Remembrance

The Book of Remembrance is placed within St. Peter’s Church. This enables the appropriate inscriptions to be placed at the anniversary of the date of the death. Those recorded in the Book of Remembrance are remembered in prayers said daily in church. A page of the Book of Remembrance is turned daily and an arrangement can be made for a particular entry to be viewed. Flowers can be placed beside the book on the occasion of anniversaries by arrangement with the Flower Guild. We have also placed a candle stand near to the Book of Remembrance for those who like to light a candle for their loved one.

An application form for an entry in the Book of Remembrance can be made to heyshampja@gmail.com

The current fees can be found by clicking here.