Arun District Council welcomes all visitors to our cemeteries and requests that the peace, dignity and reverence of these facilities are respected. We thank you for your consideration.
Arun District Council ensures that our cemeteries are managed in a legal, sensitive and respectful way for all that have use of them. These are communal spaces for quiet reflection and remembrance.
In acknowledging our respect for those who use our cemeteries Arun District Council has adopted the principles of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management’s ‘Charter for the Bereaved’. This charter has informed the regulations and management of our cemeteries.
Arun District Council as a Burial Authority, under the Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977, is responsible for regulating and managing five cemeteries across the district. It is a requirement of that Order to set out regulations to provide a safe and dignified environment for all visitors and provides the council with the authority to undertake any task or instruction as necessary to ensure the continuing appropriate management of its cemeteries.
Interment hours are subject to change and are dependent on the resources available at the time.
The Cemeteries Service will not undertake any instruction without it being in writing together with any necessary supporting documentation.
The Cemeteries Service is compliant with the Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977 and other relevant statutory instruments. Arun District Council is a member of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management.
The Register of Burials and Cemetery maps are kept at the Cemeteries Service. Searches may be requested and extracts obtained from the register at a time agreed with the Authorised Officer free of charge. A fee shall be payable if the Authorised Officer is asked to undertake a search on the behalf of the enquirer.
If you are the owner of a grave in any of our cemeteries and have moved since you purchased, please update your records by selecting the following online form.
Arun District Council Cemeteries
The Council’s greenspace contractor Tivoli maintains the grounds of the five Council cemeteries as well as the following closed churchyards;
- St James, East Ham Rd, Littlehampton. BN17 7AN
- St John the Baptist, A24 by-pass, Findon. BN14 0RF
- St Mary, Church Street, Littlehampton. BN17 5EN
- St Mary, Vicarage Lane, East Preston, Littlehampton. BN16 2SP
- St Mary Magdalene, Bersted Street, Bognor Regis. PO22 9QE
- St Nicholas, Elmer Rd, Middleton-on-sea, Bognor Regis. PO22 6ET
- St Nicholas, London Road, Arundel. BN18 QAT
Ownership of the Exclusive Right of Burial
Notice of Interment.PDF [pdf] 341KB
Memorial Application Form.pdf [pdf] 158KB
Application for Grave Ownership.pdf [pdf] 214KB
Additional Grave Owner Section 1.pdf [pdf] 268KB
Additional Grave Owner Section 2.pdf [pdf] 368KB
Transfer of Ownership
There will come a time when the ownership of the Exclusive Right of Burial needs to be transferred following the death of the owner.
The Transfer of Grave Ownership - flow chart.pdf [pdf] 517KB helps identify the correct and lawful path to a successful transfer.
There a several ways in which this can be undertaken as shown in the above flowchart and are as follows;
- A living owner may transfer the grave to any person and can do so by completing the Form of Assignment.pdf [pdf] 151KB. We will require proof of identity and address for both the current and proposed owners. We will only allow up to three owners at any one time.
- When someone dies and they leave an estate of sufficient value together with a Last Will & Testament then the ownership of the grave shall transfer to the Executor(s) of the estate named in the Will. We will need to see the original Court sealed ‘Grant of Probate’ and the Transfer of Ownership - Grant of Probate.pdf [pdf] 150KB form will need to be completed. If the Will specified beneficiaries then the Executor is responsible for passing the ownership of the Exclusive Right of Burial to the required person(s). To do so requires the completion of the Form of Assent.pdf [pdf] 155KB .
- When someone dies and they leave an Estate of sufficient value but there is no Last Will & Testament then the Next of Kin can apply to the courts to become the Administrator of the Estate. In doing so the Next of Kin will receive a ‘Letter of Administration’ from the Court. We will need to see the Court sealed original and a the Transfer of Ownership - Letters of Administration.pdf [pdf] 151KB form must be completed. The Administrator is responsible for passing the ownership of the Exclusive Right of Burial to the required person(s). To do so requires the completion of the Form of Assent.pdf [pdf] 155KB . In this situations all children of the deceased are equal owners to the burial rights.
- When someone dies and they leave an Estate of insufficient value for either Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration to be obtained then the transfer of ownership must be undertaken by making a Statutory Declaration.pdf [pdf] 152KB . This will need to be signed in the presence of a Magistrate or Commissioner of Oaths. Where a Will is available then the ownership is transferred to the Executor by completing a Statutory Declaration.pdf [pdf] 152KB . The Executor is then responsible for transferring the grave to the required person and is required to do so by using the ‘Form of Assent’. In these instances we will need to see the original or a certified copy of the Will.
- Where a number of persons have a right to ownership, but wish to vest the ownership in one person (or other variation) a Form of Renunciation.pdf [pdf] 157KB must be completed together with a Statutory Declaration.pdf [pdf] 152KB
Cemetery Rules and Regulations
Further information on the cemeteries can be found in a booklet entitled Cemetery information.pdf [pdf] 53KB . A hard copy can be obtained on request from the Cemeteries Office. It contains detail about burials, interment of ashes, including how to apply to have a memorial and the sizes and types of memorial permitted, information on purchasing a grave (exclusive right of burial) and other items which you may find useful.
A permit is required to erect a memorial or to add an additional inscription on an existing memorial. Permits are available from local Stonemasons [pdf list 87KB] who will also advise you of all the fees and charges payable. You can also contact the Council Office who will be able to help.
You can also obtain further information on funeral practices.pdf [pdf] 238KB from the Environmental Agency.
A list of our latest Fees and Charges 2019.pdf [pdf] 2MB can be downloaded.
Maintenance, planting and flowers in lawn areas
The Local Authority has a duty of care under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure that any risk in a cemetery is properly managed. The Council will therefore be making inspections of all memorials in the cemetery to ensure their stability.
The Council only test memorials for stability by hand and if any memorials are found to be unstable, and not present an immediate risk, a letter will be written to the owner of the grave using the last known address and informing them the memorial is in need of attention. They will be requested to contact a stonemason for suitable repairs.
Memorials will only be laid down when it is considered there is an immediate and genuine risk to health and safety, and this will be done with the utmost care and respect. A letter will be sent to the individual owner of the grave at their last known address informing them that the memorial was unstable and had to be laid down for safety reasons. This is part of an ongoing programme of memorial testing in all cemeteries for which Arun District Council has responsibility.
The Council has a responsibility to make sure memorials are safe but it is the owner who has a legal responsibility to maintain and repair it.
Please view our: Privacy Notice Cemeteries.pdf [pdf] 163KB