HC Deb 18 June 1896 vol 41 cc1328-9
MR. R. W. PERKS (Lincolnshire, Louth)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his attention has been called to the fact that Mrs. Lynes, a widow, residing at Priors Marston, belonging to the Wesleyan Methodist Church, was on the 23rd May last ordered by the Reverend Robert Rice, Vicar of Priors Marston, to remove a wreath which she had laid upon her husband's grave, although similar wreaths were permitted by the Vicar to remain upon adjacent graves belonging to deceased members of the Church of England; whether the Vicar was acting within his legal right in serving such a notice upon Mrs. Lynes; and if there is any appeal from his decision?


I am informed by the clergyman referred to that by the desire of the Bishop of the Diocese he has recently prohibited the placing of artificial wreaths on the graves in the churchyard of his parish, but that he has made no distinction in the matter between members of the Church of England and Nonconformists, and that the wreaths which were allowed to remain were placed before the rule was made. I have no reason to suppose that the Vicar is acting otherwise than within his legal right, nor does he appear to have given any decision which would be the subject of an appeal, though doubtless an application might be made to the Bishop of the Diocese for permission to replace the wreath.