Please scroll down the page to find out more about our churchyard, our traditional iron crosses, our Funeral Sheet service, and where to find bereavement support and help. Please also take a moment to read our Ecological Policy.

John George Kenyon's grave cross in the churchyard.
John George Kenyon’s grave cross in the churchyard.

Regulations for the management of the Graveyard

Who can be buried here?

In keeping with its status as a private building, burials at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour are by permission of the Trustees only. Permission is normally given to:

  • all descendants of our Founder, John George Kenyon
  • all those who regularly worship in this Church: there is a book at the back of the church in which current parishioners may indicate their intention to be buried here

Trustees may consider other requests for burial in this graveyard in special circumstances, for instance a close family connection with this Church.

Interment of ashes in a grave plot is also possible by arrangement with the Trustees. The cost of a grave plot here is in line with other local graveyards.

How do burials at Gillingham Catholic Church work?

First, please seek permission for burial from the Trustees, who will specify the grave available. Once permission has been granted, please contact the Parish Priest to arrange the funeral ceremony.

  • Our preferred Funeral Directors are Harvey Brothers of Kirby Cane
  • To mark a grave in Gillingham Churchyard in preparation for burial, collect the grave label from the undertakers. Place the label at the head end of the grave location as agreed with the Trustees, with four additional markers to delineate the whole space to be prepared for burial. Traditionally, the feet of the lay deceased should point towards the altar (whereas a priest is buried with his head nearest the altar).
  • In order to maintain the overall setting of our Church, each grave may be surmounted by a single iron cross of an approved design, which in this graveyard is placed at the feet of the Deceased, in line with Benedictine practice; some graves also have a small iron marker (a cross or other small wrought iron decoration) at the head end. Please note that no other ornamentation is permitted.  
  • Mourners are encouraged to plant bulbs on graves; artificial flowers are not permitted (in line with our Ecological Policy)
  • When a burial takes place, the undertakers must be instructed by the Executors of the Deceased to flatten the grave within one year, in order to facilitate grass cutting
  • Iron crosses must be erected within one year of burial

Our iron crosses

Iron crosses take roughly three months to produce, and must be erected within a year of burial. For interments of ashes, one cross may hold multiple plaques to commemorate the individuals interred. Many of our iron crosses are made by:

  • Paul Sharman, P. Sharman Horticultural Engineers, 3 Wash Lane, Burgh St Peter, Beccles, NR34 0BWTel: 01502 677 473 or website
  • Barry Martin, Martincraft Architectural Ironwork & Engineering, 32 Peddars Lane, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9UE, Tel: 01502 714 918 or 07789 687 689, e-mail: martincraftuk@yahoo.co.uk
A view of the churchyard; the grave cross of Anne Todhunter, daughter of John George Kenyon, in the foreground
A view of the churchyard; the grave cross of Anne Todhunter, daughter of John George Kenyon, in the foreground

Graveyard Map

Please have a look at the Gillingham Catholic Church Graveyard List to discover who is buried in which plot in our graveyard.

olps gillingham graveyard map

Funeral Orders of Service

You may like to look through our collection of funeral readings in case any of them could be useful or of comfort when preparing a funeral service.

Please have a look at the Gillingham Church sample requiem mass, with example hymns and readings, which can be freely adapted and changed at will (A5 booklet layout). You can have any hymns and readings you like – the content is merely by way of example.

Another view of the churchyard: John Todhunter was a Trustee in his lifetime.
Another view of the churchyard: John Todhunter was a Trustee in his lifetime.

Bereavement help

  • Further information and support may be found at Funeral Costs Help, a website which aims to assist those who have recently lost a loved one and are unable to find accurate information about funeral costs.
  • Cruse Bereavement Care is a wonderful organisation which supports the recently bereaved.