Home Burial Ceremonies
Many people are surprised to learn that a celebrant led Home Burial is possible, and if has been my privilege to have conducted such a ceremony. It is certainly not a common practice but is entirely possible providing the environmental and legal considerations are met. Some people love where they live so much that their final wish is to remain there after their death. A Home Burial may be just the answer. There are, however, both environmental and legal considerations as well as considerations for the future of the property.
The environmental considerations are mainly focused on water courses and ground water levels. The main considerations are:
- The burial site needs to be at least 30 meters away from any spring or running or standing water.
- The burial site needs to be at least 50 meters away from any well or bore hole.
- The is no standing water in the grave when it is first dug and it is not in very sandy soil.
- There needs to be at least one meter of soil both above and below the body after burial.
- The legal considerations include:
- Explicit written consent for the burial from the Landowner.
- Any more than two burials could constitute a private cemetery for which authority would need to be sought.
- Any burial would need to be listed with the Deeds of the property.
- Concerns regarding the future of the property will include potential resale. A prospective purchaser may be put off buying the property if there is a grave on site. The future use of the property will need to consider the grave site. Once the committal has taken place, an Order from the Secretary of State would be required to move the remains.
If you are considering a Home Burial, I would recommend that you speak to your local Environmental Health Department and a local Solicitor.
Burial at Sea
Being a coastal community, a Burial at Sea may be something that is being considered. There are, however, many restrictions on this practice and there are no areas on the Suffolk or Norfolk coastline where a committal at sea site has been approved.
Currently the only parts of the UK coastline where you can apply for a licence to perform a committal at sea are:
- Off The Needles, Isle of Wight.
- Between Hastings and Newhaven.
- Off Tynemouth, North Tyneside.
It is possible to propose a new site when making an application. You will need to provide the exact coordinates and evidence to demonstrate the site is suitable for burial at sea.
For more information I suggest you visit gov.uk/burial-at-sea.