Churchyard Regulations

The Diocese of Exeter (the authority to which all Church of England churches in Devon are accountable for planning and other matters) has published new Churchyard Regulations.  These explain that you must obtain permission before putting up a headstone, plaque or other memorial in a churchyard, and also deal with the placing of flowers and vases on a grave:

  • Bulbs may be planted in the soil of any grave, adjacent to the headstone.
  • Cut flowers may be placed in a receptacle for flowers incorporated into the headstone: otherwise they may be placed in a removable container which must be completely sunk into the ground close to the headstone.  They must be removed as soon as they have withered.
  • No artificial flowers are allowed except for Remembrance Day poppies and traditional Christmas wreaths, which must be removed after a period of not more than two months.


In addition, our local regulations concerning the care and tidiness of the churchyard specify that:

  • No ornaments or coverings may be placed on a grave, because they could be broken or damaged by the motor mower, strimmer or vandals and become a safety hazard to visitors and those working in the churchyard.


Any vase, ornament, flowers or wreath not complying with the above Regulations may be removed.


We would like to write to the next-of-kin with responsibility for each grave, but it is likely to take some time in order to check our records.  It would be very much appreciated if you would let us have a note of any graves which you look after.


The Parochial Church Council regrets that you might find some aspects of these Regulations upsetting, but we have no choice other than to ensure they are followed.


If you would like to see a copy of the Churchyard Regulations, please click here or contact the Parish Office which is open every week day from 10.00 am – 12.00 noon in the vestry of St. Michael’s Church, tel 01398 332885, email  A copy is also displayed on our website


Please do not hesitate to contact either of us if you require further clarification.

Sue Leach (332162) and Anthony Mount (331527)              Church Wardens