In addition to managing Stockport’s cemeteries, Bereavement Services is also responsible for the grounds maintenance and headstone safety inspections in a growing number of churchyards and old burial grounds.
The Victorian Burial Act allows the Church of England to declare a churchyard legally closed when there is no further room for new grave spaces. The Council has to absorb the additional work of maintaining these sites without the benefit of any additional funding from either National Government or the Church. Although not all of Stockport ’s C of E churchyards have yet been declared closed the number of those that have is continually growing and includes:
- All Saints Church, Church Lane , Marple
- Christ Church , Wellington Road , Heaton Norris
- Norbury Church , London Road , Hazel Grove
- St Chad’s, Church Lane , Romiley
- St Mark’s, Woodley
- St Martin ’s, Brabyns Brow, Low Marple
- St Mary’s in the Marketplace, Churchgate, Stockport Town Centre
- St Paul ’s, St Paul’s Street, Lower Brinnington
- St Peter’s, St Peter’s Square, Stockport Town Centre
- St Thomas ’s, Marriot Street, off Higher Hillgate, Stockport
- St Thomas ’s, Wellington Road North , Heaton Chapel
As well as having become responsible for the churchyards listed above the Council has over many years also accepted responsibility for the following old burial grounds that were not part of the Church of England:
- Brunswick Chapel, Portwood roundabout
- Marsland family private burial ground, Clovelly Road , Offerton
- Covent Garden, London Place, Stockport
- Gatley Burial Ground, Old Hall Road , Gatley
- Hanover Memorial Gardens , Lancashire Hill
Bereavement Services is working closely with FOSC, the Churches and other agencies to acquire additional resources to deliver improvements in Stockport’s churchyards and old burial grounds and our achievements so far include a major refurbishment of the burial area and perimeter wall at St Peter’s including the clearance of many overgrown trees which have been replaced with species that are more appropriate to the church’s urban setting. We have also carried out major tree work at a number of other churchyards and have installed new gates at All Saints, Marple.
Proposed future improvements include the refurbishment of the ashes memorial sections at NorburyChurch and we are constantly striving to find new ways of delivering improvements in general grounds maintenance and grass cutting regimes to improve the overall appearance of all these sites.
There are no new graves available at any of these sites, however, space for further interments may still be available in old existing family graves in Church of England churchyards where there is still an active church. The responsibility for providing burials in churchyards rests with the Church and must be arranged direct with them.
Please note there are no public toilet facilities available in these sites.
Many of the churchyards and old burial grounds are open to the public at all times with the exception of Christ Church, Heaton Norris, which is kept permanently locked (to arrange access by appointment please contact Bereavement Services).