§ MR. OSBORNE MORGAN (Denbighshire, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has seen a statement contained in Truth of May the l5th, to the effect that the Rev. Thomas Ellis, Rector of Gyffin, near Conway, objected to the burial of a deceased person in the churchyard, in which his wife was interred, unless he were allowed to perform the burial' service, the deceased being a non-parishioner; that the rector endeavoured to conduct the service which he desired, while a Dissenting Minister was conducting that which the relatives desired; and that the grave was filled up without either service being completed: whether the contention of the Rector of Gyffin that the law as it now stands authorises a clergyman of the Church of England to act as he did is well founded; and whether, if that is the case, the Government will give facilities for the passing of a measure which will effectually prevent the recurrence of such a scene?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE. HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS,) Birmingham, E.
I am informed by the rector that he objected to the burial on the ground that the deceased was not a parishioner and that the churchyard was not too large for the requirements of the parish. He subsequently gave permission and was distinctly authorised by the relatives of the deceased to conduct the funeral. He received no notice of burial such as the Act of 1880 requires when the relatives wish to dispense with the Church service. He was therefore justified in assuming that he was to conduct the service, and is in no way answerable for the subsequent proceedings, which are much to be regretted, and which might have been avoided if the existing law had been duly observed.