Guildford Consistory Court; Goodman Ch. July 1996
The Petitioner, aged 72, sought to exhume the ashes of his wife (who had died in 1983) from Chiddingfold churchyard and to re-inter them in Newton Abbot churchyard. The petition was unopposed. The grounds advanced by the Petitioner were that he had moved to Newton Abbot and failing eyesight made it difficult for him to visit the grave in Chiddingfold as regularly as he wished. The Chancellor, applying the principles set out in In re Church Norton Churchyard  Fam 37, In re Ryles (unreported, Sheffield Consistory Court, October 1995) and In re St Thomas' Church, High Lane (4 Ecc LJ 605) dismissed the petition. The comfort which would be afforded to the Petitioner to be able to visit a plot near his home was not a good reason for the Court to grant a faculty thirteen years after the first interment of the ashes, which at the time was assumed by the Petitioner to be a permanent burial. Per curiam: difficulty in visiting a grave or place where cremated remains are interred is not in itself sufficient reason for departing from established customs of the Church. A precedent would be set which would make it difficult if not impossible to refuse other applications on such grounds.
(1997) 4 Ecc LJ 689