HC Deb 28 March 1887 vol 312 cc1610-1
MR. T. E. ELLIS (Merionethshire)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the lady who presented the additional portion of the burial ground of the parish of Llanfrothen, Merionethshire, made any stipulations, when the presentation was made 20 years ago, that no burials should be conducted within it except with the services of the Church of England; whether, at the presentation of the ground, the then rector of the parish solicited and obtained subscriptions from the Nonconformists of the parish towards raising the wall of the new portion of the burial ground: whether there is any pathway or other mark to distinguish between the portions where the Burials Act of 1880 is or is not applicable; whether the deed, by which the present rector refuses to Nonconformists the benefits of the Burials Act of 1880, was made after the passing of that Act; whether, at the vestry of the parish held last Saturday, 20th March, the rector said that this new portion of the burial ground is as much the property of the parishioners as the highroad; and, whether he can take steps to prevent the rector from refusing to his parishioners the right of availing themselves of the benefits of an Act of Parliament, on what is admitted to be their common property?


I have received a further communication from the rector of Llanfrothen on this subject, who informs me that he is unable to state what took place 20 years ago; but that when the land was conveyed in 1881 it was the wish of the lady that the funeral services should be conducted according to the rites of the Church of England. The rector is told that the parishioners did promise subscriptions towards building the walls; but he believes that all the expenses fell upon the rector and the churchwardens. The wall of the parish churchyard—the foundation of which is untouched—divides the two portions of the burial ground from each other. The deed was made subsequently to the Burials Act of 1880. The rector said at the vestry, in answer to an observation from some one, that the new burial ground was not his private property, that he was only a trustee, and that it was as much the property of the parishioners as the highroad on certain conditions, one of thorn being that funerals should be conducted according to the rites of the Church of England. I see no reason to interfere with the conduct of the rector in this matter.