Daughter’s fight for a grave next to her parents

A consistory court was held at St Lawrence's Church in Longridge
A consistory court was held at St Lawrence's Church in Longridge

A church court was held this week to discuss whether a non-parishioner could reserve a grave next to her parents.

Blackburn Cathedral Canon Andrea Titterington asked for the plot at St Lawrence’s Church in Longridge, to keep her family together “in death as in life”.

But her request was opposed by objectors who claimed she had only a “tenuous” link to the parish.

Chancellor of the diocese, the Worshipful John Bullimore, presided over the hearing at the church in front of dozens of people, and is due to give his decision in writing.

The court heard Canon Titterington’s parents had attended the church for a number of years and her mother was buried in the grave yard.

When asked about her connection to the church, Canon Titterington, who was accompanied by her father, said: “I have a family connection, a devotion to my parents and therefore want to be buried with my parents.”

“My dad has made the offer as a parishioner who will be eligible to be buried in this church yard to be buried next to my mother so I could be buried with my mother.

“I look to support the church in every conceivable way and I hope that there’s no animosity or bad feeling through this process - that was never my intention.

“The intention was to keep our family together in death as in life.”

The open court heard the parochial church council’s policy meant graves could no longer be reserved.

The vicar, the Rev David Anderson said: “The issue is, should Canon Titterington be able to reserve a grave within this church yard where she would like?

“I think the issue is no one else in this church has that right.”

He added: “There are many other people who would like to be buried next to their mothers in this church yard but they abide by the decision of the parochial church council not to reserve graves.

“And I think the issue is why should an exception be made here for somebody who doesn’t live in the parish.”

Rev Anderson said: “I believe this church yard is for the people of this parish and the people who attend this church.

“If people are able to reserve graves from outside the parish, the time will come, probably in about 15 years’ time, when people in this parish won’t be able to buried in this church yard.

“We believe this church belongs to the people in this parish.

“My solution is for Canon Titterington to attend this church once a month, and she would be able to be buried in this church yard.”

Objector Anthony Craven added: “Her connection to Longridge is tenuous.

“If granted, some parishioners with real entitlement may have a resting place denied because the church yard had been filled prematurely.”