HC Deb 30 July 1888 vol 329 cc756-7
MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to several recent cases of refusal by the clergy to permit the bell to be tolled when Nonconformist parishioners have been buried in the parish churchyard by Nonconformist ministers; whether he is aware that the 67th Canon provided that— When any one is passing out of this life a bell shall be tolled, … and, after the party's death, if it so fall out, there shall be rung no more than one short peal, and one other peal before the burial, and one other after the burial; whether any provision of "The Buria Laws Amendment Act, 1880," gives power to the clergy to take away the right of all parishioners by the Canons, to have the bell tolled at least once before and once after the Funeral Service; and, whether he will take steps to enforce this right of all parishioners in cases where it is refused by the clergy?


I am aware of the provisions of the Canon referred to; but the hon. Member has omitted words which make it doubtful whether the Canon is not confined to those parishioners who have been tended by a minister or curate of the Church. This is not a matter over which the Civil Courts of the country, or the Secretary of State, have any jurisdiction. If any parishioner feels aggrieved, he has his remedy by taking proceedings in the Ecclesiastical Court.

MR. OSBORNE MORGAN (Denbighshire, E.)

asked the right hon. Gentleman, whether, considering the enormous expense and difficulty of trying such questions in the Ecclesiastical Courts, and the consequent impunity with which the law was often broken by clergymen, the Government would give facilities for passing the Burial Laws Amendment Bill, which stood for second reading on Wednesday next, and which would effectually put an end to such scandals?


asked, whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the opinion conveyed in the third paragraph of his Question was supported by a well-known manual in regard to the Burial Laws and other well-known authorities?


said, he thought he had answered the third paragraph of the Question. It was a matter for the Ecclesiastical Courts, and one with regard to which neither he nor the Civil Courts had any jurisdiction. He would apply for information, however, in order to enable him to satisfy the hon. Member. He was afraid the Government could not undertake to give any facilities for the discussion of a Private Bill in the present state of Public Business.