Although St John's Church building was closed 15 years ago and later sold in 2010 to a private developer, the churchyard has remained the responsibility of the Bollington Parochial Church Council (PCC) based at St Oswald’s, our Parish Church, at Bollington Cross.
The churchyard is now closed to new burials, except where there is space in existing family graves. However, a legal complication has delayed the legal closure of some parts of the churchyard. This means that we have not been able to transfer responsibility and costs for maintenance of the churchyard automatically to the local council. An informal request was therefore made to Cheshire East in 2016 to take on this responsibility but this was turned down. Due to a lack of sufficient local volunteers able or willing to carry out maintenance of the churchyard on a regular basis, we first engaged the help of the Community Payback Team over five years ago now. Following discussions with Bollington Town Council, arrangements have now been made for the Community Payback Team to cut the grass regularly through the growing season. This was carried out successfully during last year and, at the time of writing, the grass is short, allowing access to all graves. Ours is a very large graveyard so several visits are required to complete the whole area. We hope this arrangement will continue this year.
The church’s obligation for maintenance extends to the safety of the churchyard and its memorials, in order to comply with Chester Diocesan Churchyard Regulations (which can be found on the Diocesan website). Regular and fully documented safety inspections will be carried out at intervals, to identify:
- Risks from trees, in order to carry out safety work where necessary (in line with any Tree Preservation Order)
- Dangerous headstones and monuments
- Any breaches of Chester Diocesan Churchyard Regulations.
Potentially unsafe graves were identified in an inspection carried out in November 2017, using this Churchyard Plan. In all, 75 graves have been noted, 30 of which we consider may need attention. Overextended graves which contravene the Churchyard Regulations, open graves and any that could be a tripping hazard have also been noted, as well as graves undermined by saplings that may cause damage and/or instability.
Any laying down of dangerous headstones has to be done with the agreement of the family who own the monument or otherwise by approval of the Diocese, via a Faculty application. The laying down will be carried out by a suitably qualified person.
The original 1835 churchyard comprised sections A, B, C and D. In 1896-7, the former vicarage was demolished and the vicarage land and gardens were consecrated to create Area E. In 1932 the first section of Area F was consecrated for burials. This was extended in 1938 and again in 1946. There were still some WW2 air raid shelters at the west end of section F in the early 1950s; these were cleared to permit full use of Area F. It was decided in 2001 that no new graves would be dug anywhere in the churchyard because of the state of the remaining small area of available land. However, burials can still take place in existing family graves if there is sufficient space available. Burial of cremated remains ("ashes") can be arranged in the Columbarium, which has recently been extended to provide space for the foreseeable future. It is also usually possible to inter cremated remains in an existing family grave.
The Columbarium occupies most of Area C.
In 2001, a number of memorials from Areas A and B were re-located to the north side of Area F in order to allow for the future construction of a car parking area. The graves themselves were not disturbed.
The detailed plans of the churchyard show a numbering system for the burial plots. This numbering system was created in the 20th century as a means of locating memorials and burial plots and DOES NOT relate to the order in which graves were dug.
Church Street runs North-South to the East of the church-yard entrance (right hand side of the plan).
If you know the burial plot number, select the appropriate detail plan from the panel below. If you do not know the plot number, please use our Burials & Memorials Search facility, which includes details from all the burial registers and all the legible memorials (including some that are no longer legible!)
Please note that until recent times, the burial registers usually did NOT indicate the precise location of an individual burial, only that the burial took place in the churchyard. If there is no memorial, it may not be possible to locate the burial plot.
showing the plot numbers in each section
click on the section reference to see more detail
The Parish Church, its building, activities and clergy are entirely funded by voluntary contributions.
We do NOT receive any financial support from the Government, the Diocese, or the Church Commissioners.
Please visit our Donations page to see how you could help to keep us operating both as a centre of worship and as a resource for the local community