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Arranging a burial

Introduction

When arranging a cremation in St Helens you will need to contact a funeral director.

When arranging a burial in St Helens, you will need to contact a funeral director.

They will make the process as easy as possible for you and will liaise directly with St Helens Borough Council's Bereavement Services team. You can contact the the team directly on 01744 675490.

If the burial is taking place at St Helens Cemetery, it may be possible to hold the service in the crematorium chapel.

If you do not already have a pre-purchased grave, the Bereavement Services team are available to help you with purchasing a suitable new plot.

In some situations, a self-arranged funeral may take place; further guidance is available from the Bereavement Services team.

There is a Friends of St Helens Cemetery group that arranges events and provides services in St Helens Cemetery. Find more information on the Friends of St Helens Cemetery website.

Where to find us:

St Helens Cemetery
Rainford Road
St Helens
Merseyside
WA10 6DF 

Newton-le-Willows Cemetery
Park Road South
Newton-le-Willows
Merseyside
WA12 8PH

St Helens Crematorium
Rainford Road
St Helens
Merseyside
WA10 6DF

Telephone: 01744 675490

Email: sthelenscrematorium@sthelens.gov.uk

Purchasing a grave

St Helens Borough Council manages both St Helens and Newton-le-Willows cemeteries.

At both spaces there are full burial and cremation graves available to purchase. Pre-purchase of graves can be made.

At St Helens Cemetery there is also a Garden of Remembrance, Memorial Garden and two options of above ground vaults for cremated remains.

At Newton-le-Willows Cemetery there is a Garden of Remembrance for scattering cremated remains.

Find out more about St Helens Crematorium

Purchasing a full burial grave

To purchase a grave space, please visit the crematorium office. Here we will show you a map where the new grave sites are. The current sections available are:

  • Section 77 - for three full interments
  • Section 86, 87, 88 - for one or two full interments
  • Section 89 - for two or three full interments (this section requires all graves to have full-length kerbs)

After selecting which section and grave number you would like to purchase, you will have to fill in an application form for the Exclusive Rights of Burial. You can have up to four grave owners for one grave.

Purchasing a cremation grave (extended gardens are not allowed on these sections - 78/79/79a/85/87a/88a)

To purchase a grave space, please visit the Crematorium Office. Here we will show you a map where the new grave sites are. The current sections available are:

  • Section 87a  - for four caskets 

After selecting which section and grave number you would like to purchase, you will have to fill in an application form for the Exclusive Rights of Burial. You can have up to four grave owners for one grave.

You can pay for your grave by debit or credit card at the Crematorium Office or by telephone payment over the phone.

Lawned graves

All the newer sections in the cemeteries are laid out as lawned sections where the headstone is placed on a foundation at the head of the grave and the main part of the grave is in the form of a level grass lawn.

The aim is to be able to mow and maintain the grass without restrictions and provide safe access for people attending funerals and visiting adjacent graves. Therefore, the placing of kerbstones, fences and other obstacles and ornamentation is not allowed on the lawned area of any grave.

If the owner of the grave wishes to plant a small garden at the head of the grave, then this is allowed, as long as the garden area does not exceed 12" (300mm) from the headstone and 36" (900mm) in width. This area must not be enclosed with kerb edgings of any description and only small plants that will not reach a height greater than 18" (450mm) on maturity should be planted in this area.

Extended gardens (these are not permitted on sections 78/79/79a/85/87a/88a)

Where grave owners would like a larger garden area, they can apply for permission to extend the garden up to 24" (600mm) from the headstone and 36" (900mm) in width. The gardens will need to be removed on numerous occasions to facilitate burials in adjoining and opposite graves. The removal and replacement of the gardens, at short notice, will be the responsibility of the grave owner.

There are further conditions regarding what can be placed within the garden to ensure that it is easily removable and does not present a hazard for visitors to the cemetery.

All grave owners who wish to extend the garden must have their request approved and sign a declaration in the cemetery and crematorium office to agree to abide by the extended garden conditions and agree to cut and maintain the areas of grass where the council's mowing machinery cannot access to the same standard as the adjacent graves. 

Items not permitted on any grave space

  • graves mounded with soil or planted with bulbs or perennials
  • glass jars, other glass items or any sharp or dangerous objects
  • edgings raised above the height of 4" (100mm)
  • wood or plastic edgings or fences
  • metal/cast iron edging with spikes, protrusions or any sharp ornamentation
  • chippings or stones of any description

Unauthorised memorials

Any item placed on any grave without the prior consent of the Bereavement Services Manager is an unauthorised memorial.

Where unauthorised memorials are identified, two weeks' notice will be given to the grave owner, where possible, to remove the unauthorised memorial. When a grave owner cannot be traced or when the served notice expires and the owner fails to comply with the notice, then the Bereavement Services Manager may remove the unauthorised memorial.

An unauthorised memorial, when removed, will be retained for collection by the grave owner for a period of six months, following which it may be disposed of.

Claiming ownership of a grave

If you or your family already have a purchased plot, you can change or amend the ownership.

Here are some examples of how you can claim grave ownership:

Claiming grave ownership
Can a grave be signed over to another person?

The grave can be signed over to a new owner.  The crematorium office will supply you with an assignment form that requires the signatures of the current owner and the new owner.

This service costs £69.00

 
Can the grave be put into 'joint ownership'?

The grave can be put into joint ownership. The crematorium office will supply you with a form that requires the signatures of the current owner and the new joint owner(s). You can apply for up to three additional owners.

This service costs £14.00

 
What happens if the owner is deceased and has left a will that has not gone to probate?

The grave ownership will go automatically to the executors of the will, regardless of whether the grave was left to a named person in the will. If the executors would like to take on ownership, they would have to come to the crematorium office with a copy of the will and fill in a statutory declaration form.

This service costs £69.00

If the executors don't want the grave, or only one executor would like to take ownership, they would have to fill in a form of renunciation and a statutory declaration form.

This service costs £69.00

 
What happens if the owner is deceased and has left a will that has gone to probate?

The grave ownership will go automatically to the person(s) named in the probate. We need to see the probate and take a copy of it for the grave to be signed over.

This service costs £69.00.

If the person(s) named in the probate do not want the grave, or only one person named would like to take ownership, they would have to fill in a form of renunciation and a statutory declaration form.

This service costs £69.00.

 
What happens if the owner is deceased and has not left a will?

The ownership of the grave will travel down the bloodline. This first goes to husband, wife or civil partner, then children, grandchildren etc. If the deceased was not married or had no children, it will pass to their parents, siblings and then onto nieces/nephews.

If there is more than one child, sibling or niece/nephew, they would have to renounce their rights to the person who would like to take on the grave ownership.

A form of renunciation and a statutory declaration form would need to be completed to complete the transfer of ownership.

This service costs £69.00.

 
What happens to the grave deeds?If you have the grave deeds, bring them in when all the renunciation and statutory declaration forms are completed and we will amend them to reflect the change of ownership. We do not issue new or copy deeds.
 
What if I don't have the grave deeds?Having the grave deeds to hand is not always essential. If you don't know where they are you can still: Bury the grave owner, or bury anyone (if you're the owner); there is a £47.00 fee for non-production of deed.
 
How can we change the ownership of the grave?Add the grave owner's name to a memorial, or add any name to a memorial (if you're the owner).

Children's funerals

Baby funerals

If your baby was born or stillborn in a hospital, there will be staff there who can help and advise you with funeral arrangements. Often, the hospital will be able to recommend a funeral director to organise a baby funeral, but you can always make the arrangements with a funeral director of your choice or directly with us. 

Burials

St Helens Cemetery has a specific children's burial section (section 90); the graves in this section will accommodate a single burial of a child.

If the parents of the child are residents of St Helens, there is no cost for burial into one of these graves. The fee for the purchase of the grave is £315.

If you would prefer to bury your baby/child in a family grave or in a new grave which can accommodate future burials, there are graves available to purchase at St Helens and Newton-le-Willows cemeteries. There is no cost for the burial of a child under the age of 16 into the grave. The cost for the purchase of a new grave is available upon request.

  • Purchase form for a baby/child grave on section 90
  • Purchase form for a full burial grave

For more information, please contact the St Helens Cemetery office on 01744 675490.

Applications, guidance and maps