Graveyard & churchyard are generic terms, generally they refer to:
- Consecrated churchyards/graveyards still open for burial (including open but unused ground)
- Closed churchyards/graveyards, or disused burial grounds
- Unconsecrated churchyards
Use of Graveyards & Churchyards
Open graveyards: It may be possible to make use of a portion of the churchyard which, although available for burials, has not yet been used and is therefore clear of monuments. Any permitted activity or use would need to be seemly and authorised by Faculty if the arrangement is to be of any permanence or on a commercial basis.
Closed graveyards: These may be used for a variety of purposes (e.g. for recreational uses) but no building or structure may be placed on them and they remain subject to Faculty Jurisdiction. Maintenance of closed graveyards is generally the responsibility of the local authority.
Unconsecrated churchyards: There are no specific constraints on what is regarded as seemly or appropriate on unconsecrated land. Nevertheless, the proximity of the church building and the fact that the land is in church ownership will still impose significant constraints in practice. Even unconsecrated curtilage is still within the Faculty Jurisdiction.
Unconsecrated curtilage can be used, with the authority of a Faculty, for car parking to generate income. Parishes will need to ensure they are adhering to planning legislation. See also the article on Car Parking.