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Death - exhumations
Any disinterment or other disturbance without lawful authority of a body that has been buried (including cremated remains) is an offence. Lawful authority can be obtained by a license issued by the Home Secretary. Some 1,000 licences are granted every year by the Home Office.
Any person considering applying to move a body that has been interred should, in the first instance, discuss their proposals with the appropriate local church official or local undertaker.
Consent for removal of human remains from consecrated grounds
The decision to grant or refuse consent must be exercised reasonably, taking into account changes in human affairs and ways of thought, but always mindful that consecrated ground and human remains committed to it should, in principle, remain undisturbed.
The person applying for consent to disinter remains needs to show that:
In every case, the arguments for consent will be weighed against these general principals and against the desirability of maintaining a churchyard or place set aside for the internment or cremated remains undisturbed and a place of peace for prayer and for the recollection of the departed.