Exhumation and the Permanence of Christian Burial: a review of recent consistory court judgments

Christopher Grout, barrister, has kindly contributed the following guest post which reviews recent consistory court judgments relating to the permanence of Christian burial

The presumption of the permanence of Christian burial is well-known, as are the leading authorities on the test for granting a faculty for exhumation: In Re Christ Church Alsager[1] in the Province of York and In Re Blagdon Cemetery[2] in the Province of Canterbury. There have been a number of legislative[3] and common law[4] developments post these judgments, but they nevertheless remain the principal authorities on the topic.

In an effort to obtain a snapshot of modern practice, this author reviewed all judgments of the consistory courts relating to exhumations as reported in the Ecclesiastical Law Journal (‘the Journal’) since 2015. As the Journal only provides a brief summary, it was necessary to review the full transcripts all of which, with the exception of two[5], have been published online.[6] Continue reading