Rules and regulations


1. These regulations and management rules shall apply to the cemeteries at Atherton, Gidlow, Hindley, Howe Bridge, Ince, Leigh, Tyldesley, Westwood, Wigan and the Crematorium at Ince at present operated and used by the Council and also to any Cemetery and Crematorium hereafter established by the Council or used or operated by them.

2. The offices of the Registrar and Superintendent and all offices at the Cemeteries to which these regulations apply shall be open from Mondays to Friday between the hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm and no business shall be conducted outside these hours or on Saturdays, Sundays or Public and Local Holidays.

3. In these Regulations: (a) Any reference in the regulations to ‘the registrar’ and ‘the Superintendent’ shall be construed as references to the Registrar and the Superintendent for Cemeteries and Crematoria respectively for the time being to the Council or any person authorised by him or the Council to exercise any of the powers or duties conferred on him by these regulations; (b) ‘The Council’ shall mean ‘the Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council’ or any successor thereof.

Cemetery regulations

4. The cemeteries to which these regulations apply are open to the public as follows:

April - September (inclusive): 9am to 8pm, October - March (inclusive): 9am to 4pm

5. The purchase of an exclusive right of burial is restricted to standard lawn grave spaces including memorial foundations where provided. The construction of new vaults or bricked graves will not be permitted.

For burial purposes coffins can be made of wood, wicker or other bio-degradable material approved by the Council.

No metal or stone coffins/caskets are allowed to be buried below ground. An exclusive right of burial shall be limited to a fixed period of 100 years

6. No owner of an exclusive right of burial shall have the power to transfer that right without the consent in writing of the Council.

7. Notice of Internment

(a) Prior to interment at least 3 working days notice must be given for the opening of a new grave and not less than two working days notice shall be given for a subsequent interment.(b) In exceptional cases, where possible, interments will be arranged at shorter notice than given sub paragraph (a) above. In such cases an additional charge may be made to cover increased costs and charges incurred by the Council.(c) All notices of interment must be given in writing and delivered to the office of the superintendent during normal office hours. No order given by telephone will be accepted unless confirmed immediately in writing, such confirmation to be delivered to the Superintendents office not later than 10.00am 2 days before the interment takes place.(d) In graves in respective of which an exclusive right of burial has been purchased no interment will be allowed to take place without:

(i) the production of a Deed of Grant: or(ii) a signed declaration and(iii) the written consent of the grave owner.

8. Public Graves

The charge for an interment in a public grave does not confer any right or privilege other than a right of a single burial in a grave to be selected by the Council. No memorial vase, cross, tablet article or thing shall be placed on any public grave.

9. Officiating Ministers

All arrangements for the booking of ministers officiating at burials and cremations shall be the responsibility of the Funeral Director or other person undertaking arrangements for interment.

10. Vehicles

Vehicles, other than those forming an integral part of the funeral cortege, shall not proceed beyond the main entrance of a cemetery without the written permission of the Registrar.

11. Exclusion of Persons From Cemeteries

All persons visiting any cemetery to which these regulations apply must conform in all respects with these regulations. The Superintendent may at his discretion exclude from any cemetery to which these regulations apply any member of the public.

12. Demonstrations

No demonstrations of any kind or any religious service, other than a service at the time of interment shall be held without the consent of the registrar.

13. Unruly Behaviour

No person shall in any cemetery by any violent or indecent behaviour prevent, interrupt or delay the decent and solemn interment of any body. No persons shall play at any games or sport or discharge any firearms, save at a military funeral, or create or commit a nuisance within any cemetery to which these regulations apply. All persons visiting the cemetery shall conduct themselves in a quiet orderly and decorous manner.

14. Distribution of Tracts or Advertisements, etc.

No person shall distribute tracts, business cards or advertisement within any cemetery to which these regulations apply nor shall anyone be permitted, without the express permission of the Registrar to trespass on or use the roads or walks for the conveyance of any goods, parcels or other materials not intended for use within that cemetery.

15. Soliciting Orders

No mason or other person shall solicit orders in any manner or on any pretext whatsoever within any cemetery to which these regulations apply. No person within the employ of the Council shall solicit or undertake any private work within any cemetery which theses regulations apply for reward or otherwise. Any person whom the Superintendent considers to be in breach of this regulation may at the discretion of the Superintendent be excluded from any or all cemeteries to which these Regulations apply.

16. Layout of Grave Spaces (Lawn Plots Only)

The Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council reserves to itself the right to arrange the layout of grave spaces and such layout, if thought fit may involve the fixing of memorials in adjoining lines with their backs touching each other.

17. Grave Planting

(a) the planting of graves is the responsibility of the grave owners and the Council will not undertake any work of maintenance other than the maintenance of lawns and grassed areas and grave plots maintained in pursuance of maintenance agreements existing prior to the 1st April 1974.(b) the planting of graves on lawn plots shall be restricted to the head of the grave. The area which may be planted shall be in an area no greater than 3 foot wide nor may it extend more than 15 inches forward from the foot of the memorial base.(c) No full length planting shall be permitted on any grave and the Council may at their discretion alter any planted grave without notice if it does not conform with these regulations.(d) The Superintendent shall have the right to prune cut down or dig up any plants on any grave whenever in his opinion the same have become unsightly or overgrown.

Regulations for the erection of memorials in the authority's cemeteries

Please Note: Any memorial mason wishing to work in Wigan Authority’s Cemeteries must be registered under the Memorial Mason Registration scheme.

Erection of memorial and the execution of memorial works

18. Memorials may only be erected on graves in respect of which an exclusive right of burial has been granted. Any memorial erected on any grave shall be at the sole risk of the persons authorising or erecting that memorial.

19. No memorial, article or other thing shall be erected or placed on any grave within any cemetery to which these regulations apply without the written permission of the Registrar. The Council may, without making compensation to any person possessing an exclusive right of burial, reverse, refix, move, line up or otherwise alter the position of any memorial within any cemetery to which these regulations apply as they may from time to time deem advisable. The Council also may at any time without notice remove any dangerous or unsafe memorials or any parts thereof.

20. The Funeral Director of any such person making arrangements for an interment, shall also make arrangements for the removal and refixing of any large memorial which:(a) May obstruct the excavation of any grave.(b) In the Superintendents opinion may endanger the health & safety of the Councils employees.(c) Could contribute to the collapse of a grave on certain sub-soil conditions.

(d) Cause the memorial to fracture or break. Due to a shift of weight during the excavation.

21. Before any work commences an application for the erection of any memorial must be completed by the mason who is to carry out such work and must be signed by the grave owner or such other person as may be authorised to sanction such works. The completed application form together with the fee must be delivered to the office of the Superintendent at least one week before any permit is issued to undertake the work. No application form once submitted to the Superintendent may be added to or altered in any way whatsoever. A new application form must be submitted.

22. No monumental mason will be allowed to commence work on the erection of a new memorial or the execution of any inscription work to any existing memorial without a permit being signed by the Registrar. Any memorial erected or any work executed without such permission may at the discretion of the Superintendent be removed.

23. No kerbstones, edgings or grave surrounds will be allowed and no memorial vase, article or other thing shall be placed on any grave space without the written permission of the Registrar. All memorials shall be restricted to lawn type headstones or alternately simple tablets with maximum dimensions 2ft x 1ft or maker stones laid flat with the surrounding turf.

24. Headstone memorials; shall be limited to 3ft 6” or 1m 50mm maximum height and 2ft 6” or 750mm minimum measured from surrounding ground. Turf level to the highest part of the memorial 3ft or 900mm maximum width and 2ft or 600mm minimum1ft or 300mm base width. The headstone shall be no less than 3” or 75mm or more than 6” or 150mm in thickness. All above memorials must have a concrete foundation to be constructed by the mason which shall meet the following specification: 3ft 6” (1,050mm) to 4ft (1,200mm) in length depending on Cemetery and width of grave space. 15” or 385mm in width 4” (100mm) to 6” (150mm) in depth subject to soil type and stability of ground. Alternatively such memorials may be affixed to a concrete foundation which has been provided by the Council. In either case provision must be made for the provision of a flower vase to be incorporated as an integral part of the headstone base where the memorial is erected on a lawn plot.

25. One plinth stone only (if required) may be laid on top of the concrete foundation and such plinth must be of natural stone or alternatively terrazzo at a maximum width of 1ft 1” or 325mm. The elevation of such memorials on additional flagstones on precast landings shall not be allowed.

26. Additional vases, tablets or books may not be placed in front of the memorial.

27. The section and the grave number must be inscribed on every memorial in such a position that is clearly visible (e.g. rea of headstone base, side of headstone base).

28. All memorials must be fixed to the base either by a joggle or by stainless steel dowels. All memorials conveyed into or through the cemetery must be conveyed in such a manner as to cause no damage to any roads or to any of the graves within that cemetery.

29. All spare building materials or any other rubbish or waste matter occasioned by the erection of any memorial or the execution of any work on any material must be removed to the satisfaction of the Superintendent.

30. No memorial may be taken down or removed for any purpose whatsoever without the permission in writing of the registrar. Memorials and headstones must be constructed of natural stone only, artificial stone of any type is not permitted.

31. The Mason’s name or title may be inscribed on back or side of the base of any memorial in letters no longer than 3 / 4” in height.

32. Before undertaking any work within the cemetery to which these regulations apply a mason must report to the foreman on site. Any mason failing to observe this regulation may at the discretion of the Superintendent be excluded from any or call cemeteries to which these regulations apply.

33. No workmen or materials will be admitted to any cemetery before 8.00am and they will not be permitted at all on Saturdays, Sundays or Public Holidays. Such persons and materials will not be allowed to remain in any cemetery after the time specified by the Superintendent. With all monumental work, the Council reserve the right to refuse applications other than recognised Monumental Masons.

Crematorium regulations

34. All cremations shall be conducted in accordance with the Cremation Regulations 1930, 1952 and 1965 or any other regulations for the time being in force – and must comply with the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

35. Application for Cremation must be made to the Superintendent during normal office hours at least 48 hours (excluding Sundays) before the proposed hour of cremation or instructions given by telephone will be accepted unless such orders are confirmed immediately in writing and delivered to the office of the Superintendent together with all other statutory forms and certificates not later tan 10.00am on the day prior to the cremation.

36. Cremation services may take place on any weekday (Monday to Fridays) excluding Bank Holidays between the hours of 9.30am and 3.30pm.

37. If no instructions in writing have previously been given to the Superintendent cremated remains shall be stored temporarily at the discretion of the Superintendent and after giving 14 days notice to the person making application for cremation, the remains will be strewed on the Garden of Remembrance (Cremation Regulations 1930. Paragraph 16).

38. All persons attending a Cremation Service or otherwise for visiting the Crematorium must comply with the requirements of the Superintendent. The Superintendent may at his discretion exclude or remove from the precincts of the Crematorium any member of the public he considers to be in breach of his requirements or whom he considers should be removed or excluded there from.

39. Two representatives of the deceased will be allowed to see the coffin introduced into the Cremator if they so desire but they will not be allowed to inspect the actual cremation process.

40. All persons within the gardens and grounds of the Crematorium shall conduct themselves with due reverence and respect.

41. No dogs will be allowed in the Garden of Remembrance other than those held on a lead.

42. Floral tributes may only be placed in the Garden of Remembrance in such position as the Superintendent may prescribe.

Cremated remains

43. (a) The scattering or disposing of cremated remains is prohibited within the gardens and grounds of the Crematorium without the consent of the registrar; (b) No cremated remains will be interred or scattered within any of the Cemeteries unless authorised by the Registrar. No such authorisation will be given unless a Certificate has been obtained from the appropriate officer of the Crematorium stating that a certificate for disposal has been produced to the Medical Referee to that Crematorium and that the notification of disposal has been delivered to the appropriate Registrar of Births and Deaths.

Cremation regulations

44. The Funeral Director must provide sufficient Bearers to convey the coffin reverently from the hearse to the catafalque. The Funeral Director must then ensure that the coffin is placed correctly in the position on the catafalque.

45. Coffins for cremation must be made of suitable wooden material and must be no greater than 30 inches wide. Such coffins must be made with a few nails as possible, wooden pegs must be used wherever possible. On the base of any such coffin all screws or nails must be countersunk to avoid damage tot he catafalque. Such coffins should be stained and only thin spirit varnish must be applied. Alternatively such coffins may be covered with a thin layer of white, black or purple cloth. Any damage caused to the catafalque by virtue of the failure of any Funeral Director to observe this regulation shall be rectified by the Council and that Funeral Director shall pay the cost of such work.

46. Coffins used for cremation shall not be coated or packed with sawdust, polystyrene or other smoked producing materials, or pitch. If the condition of the body to be cremated, or illness from which the deceased died make it desirable to calk the joints of that coffin only Plaster of Paris must be used.

47. Coffins handles may be made from base material polypropylene, coffin handles made of polystyrene or other plastic materials will not be accepted. Coffins used for cremations may be covered with vinyl covering, the thickness of that covering however must be less than 0.004" (0.112mm). Coffin mouldings or beadings manufactured in PVC or other plastic materials must not be used.

48. No brass or metal handles or ornaments of any kind may be used on a coffin which is to be used for cremation purposes.

49. The maximum dimensions for any coffin to be used for cremation are: Length 7 feet, Width 2 feet 6 inches, Depth 1 foot 10 inches.

50. The Superintendent may at his discretion postpone any cremation service where the body arrives so late as to be likely to cause delay to succeeding services or where the body is contained is an unsuitable coffin.

The trust will accept no responsibility for any loss or expense occasioned by any person failing to comply with these regulations.

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