§ MR. CALEB WRIGHT (Lancashire, S.W., Leigh)
I bag to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that, notwithstanding his expression of opinion to the Reverend W. J. Melville, Rector of Holy Trinity, Ashton-in-Mackerfield, Lancashire, that such an instruction is contrary to the spirit of the Burial Act of 1880, the bills issued in connection with interments in the churchyard still contain the instruction that breadths or graves areappropriated only on condition that no other than the Church of England service is ever used";and whether, in view of the fact that the inhabitants of the parish are deterred from availing themselves of the provisions of the Act of 1880, steps will be taken to prevent such a limitation of the rights of the parishioners?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS,) Birmingham, E.
The opinion which I expressed to the Rector on a former occasion was to the effect that it appeared contrary to the spirit of the Act to stipulate beforehand that a grave where a Church service is used shall be in any respect superior to other graves. The Rector then assured me that this is not the case, and he now repeats this assurance. The Rector, however, still insists on his right to select the part of the churchyard where any interment shall take place, and denies any obligation to sell or appropriate graves to any families or individuals to the exclusion of others. This is a question of law, as to which I have stated before it is not my duty to express an opinion. The Rector informs me that no dissatisfaction has been expressed among his parishioners, and that the provisions of the Act of 1880 are always loyally carried out by him.