Chester Consistory Court; Lomas Ch. 31 August 1994
The sister of the deceased, who had died and been cremated eight years previously, wanted to have the cremated remains of her brother exhumed and reinterred in another part of the churchyard. The decision as to the precise place of burial or interment was vested in the incumbent, who in the exercise of his discretion could select the particular place of burial. The court had to consider whether there were any grounds for it to interfere with the exercise of that discretion by the rector in deciding where the cremated remains of the deceased were to be placed. A court would only so interfere if it was satisfied that that discretion had been exercised in some improper way or in a way which had disregarded relevant or material circumstances. As there were no factors which suggested that the rector had exercised his discretion in any manner otherwise than a perfectly normal and reasonable manner, the application was refused. Although the wishes of a personal representative or next of kin of the deceased to move the body or the cremated remains from one part of the churchyard to another part, or from one churchyard to another, were a ground for the grant by the court of a faculty, those wishes had to be for reasons which appeared to the court to be well-founded and sufficient. The site selected by the rector for the interment of the deceased was appropriate and the petition for a faculty would be refused.
(1995) 3 Ecc LJ 352