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Dalston Churchyard and Cemetery
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An introduction to our burial service
The Parish Council operates a small cemetery in Dalston. This leaflet describes the service we provide. It is our intention to offer a high standard of care, and options that ensure that each member of the community can arrange a funeral which is meaningful to them and their family. We are a community service and, as such, we have no commercial incentives and can offer you free help and advice.

Why is it helpful to read this feature?
The majority of people know little about funerals and how they can organise a funeral to satisfy their belief, lifestyle and other needs. This leaflet outlines some of the options in order to help you make a decision, beginning with burial and then issues such as independent funerals and funeral costs. We recognise that these details are particularly useful to people who consider funerals before death occurs. Otherwise, at the time of death, the distress is often too great and, indeed, many wrong decisions are taken as part of this ‘crisis’ arrangement. Many people prefer to ignore death and, indeed the death of someone close to us can be devastating. However, this crisis in our lives is only made worse when no Will or funeral instructions are left. It is caring and sensible to alleviate the distress of your partner and family by preparing for death, rather than ignoring it. It will also ensure that you get the type of funeral you want and it may greatly reduce funeral costs.

The Churchyard
The Churchyard is a closed burial ground having been fully utilised by 1864.

The Cemetery
The Parish Council has operated the cemetery since 1894 when the responsibility was transferred under the Local Government Act from the Parish Vestry. It is maintained to the Parish Council’s recommended standards and the grass is mown regularly in the growing season. All graves and burials are registered, the records being kept in perpetuity. They are available for inspection at the Council Offices by arrangement.

Grave Rights
Each grave is excavated for one burial unless otherwise requested. Extra depth allows for two burials per grave. The ‘Right of Burial’, which makes the grave private, is sold for a 100 year term.

The memorials, which can be placed on graves, are as follows. The purchased lawn grave memorial, including stone vases, can be in any natural stone and cannot exceed 3’6” height, 3’0” width and 1’6” in depth. Aluminium vases can be placed in the base section. Kerbstones or memorials, which cover the full grave, cannot be placed. Each memorial requires the ward, section and space numbers/letter to be inscribed on the bottom left hand corner. The size and type of headstone or memorial stone and inscriptions must receive the approval of the Parish Council before erection or placement. The Parish Council retains the right to remove any additional objects other than the headstone or memorial stone. The memorial is the responsibility of the grave owner. This includes the safe erection, and long term maintenance of the memorial. The Council is not responsible for vandalism or criminal damage to the memorial. Should a memorial become unsafe, the Parish Council retains the right to take appropriate action. See also cremated remains graves.

Grave Types - Purchased Grave
These graves are lawned. If a memorial is required it is to be placed at the head of the grave. These graves may be purchased in advance (see Reserved Grave) or at the time of death.

Unpurchased Grave
These graves are for those who do not want a private grave. If you chose this type of grave, it may already contain one unrelated burial, or a second unrelated burial will occur in the future. In 75-100 years, when the buried remains have disappeared, the grave will be reused. Memorials are not permitted on unpurchased graves.

Baby and Infant Grave
There is no separate area set aside for small graves. Where possible, we advise that such burials occur in adult graves so that the parents can be interred with the child when they die.

Cremated Remains Grave
These small graves accept up to two caskets. The 2’ by 2’ memorial stone is placed horizontally on the grave space and the removal of it for a second interment is the responsibility of the grave owner. These graves may be purchased or unpurchased as previously described.

Reserved Grave
The ‘Right of Burial’ can be purchased in advance. This often occurs where a ‘Funeral Plan’ is being purchased, or where a funeral is being pre-arranged. Some people prefer to do this so that their family is aware of their wishes and to reduce costs at the time of their death. A memorial can be erected, if desired, with sufficient space to place the preferred inscriptions.

Funeral Service
The Parish Council do not maintain a chapel in which to hold services. Consequently the funeral service is usually held at a local church, or elsewhere, prior to arrival at the cemetery. A short ‘committal’ service may take place at the graveside. This can be religious or secular, although some choose not to have a service at all. The service can be taken by anybody and a minister does not have to be used.

Independent Funerals
The majority of people use a funeral director to organise a funeral ‘package’ on their behalf. However it is possible to undertake an independent funeral providing the correct procedures and documentation are adhered to.

Funeral Costs
Funeral costs vary according to individual requirements. As a guide the average burial funeral costs approximately £1,500-1,600 and a memorial £600-700 (March 2005). If you are on benefits you may be entitled to Social Fund assistance although this is increasingly more difficult. No other financial assistance is available and there is increasing evidence of hardship over the payment of funeral costs.

Non Parishioners
The cemetery is a community service, for the benefit of those living in the Parish of Dalston. As the cemetery operates at a deficit, each parishioner contributes to the losses through the Parish rate. In view of this, non parishioners may be accepted for burial, but are required to pay a supplement to the burial fees.

We try to avoid discrimination against anyone because of race, disability or belief. Please let us know if you have specific needs.

Grievance Procedure
We do our utmost to ensure errors and mistakes do not happen. In the event of a grievance please contact the Council Clerk as soon as possible, at the Council Offices.

Cemetery Location
The cemetery is adjacent to St Michael’s Church.

The cemetery is permanently open for visits.

Burials or internment of ashes cannot take place without the authorisation of Dalston Parish Council. Ashes may not be scattered anywhere in the Churchyard or Cemetery.

The cemetery is managed by Dalston Parish Council, Council Offices, Forge Green, Riverside, Dalston, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA5 7QG

For all enquiries please contact the clerk on 01228 712766

For a full current fee list. click here.

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World Wide Web http://www.dalston.org.uk