Councils aim to tackle burial space shortage
Tue 30 Aug 2011
Overcrowding is becoming a growing problem in Britain's graveyards, the BBC has reported.
According to the corporation's Lucy Townsend, this means many people are having to face up to the possibility of not being buried with their relatives.
Ms Townsend flagged up Southwark as one area where this is proving to be a particular issue, which has prompted the local council to look at new ways of making space available.
Among the options being considered are turning a community playground into a cemetery, along with digging up the remains of deceased people and reburying them at a deeper level, thereby freeing up space above.
John Rees, a partner at law firm Winckworth Sherwood, which specialises in church law and other parts of the not-for-profit sector, described Ms Townsend's report as "spot on".
"Burial space is a major issue in many towns and cities and is becoming a problem even in some village communities," he commented.
"Partners in our firm's ecclesiastical and parliamentary departments assisted in the drafting of the legislation some years ago which enabled cemetery authorities in London to reuse existing burial spaces.
"And of course, as she says, it is what the Church of England has been doing in many of its traditional churchyards for over a millennium. What we have to get over is our squeamishness about these issues."
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