Interring ashes | St Peter's Great Berkhamsted

The Church of St Peter Great Berkhamsted

Interring ashes

After the cremation of a loved one, many people choose to inter the ashes in a sacred space as a fitting commemoration. Great Berkhamsted Parish has two sites dedicated to interments.

St Peter’s Churchyard

This green space next to St Peter’s Churchyard is Berkhamsted’s original burial ground. It was closed to new burials in 1842, but a green space on the east side (next to the Caste Street steps) has been set aside for interring ashes. The area has been planted out with spring crocus bulbs and there is a bench to sit and remember those who have passed from this life. It is marked by a simple stone inscription in the wall of the church: “Remember before God the souls of the departed whose ashes rest here”.

Rectory Lane Cemetery

St Peter’s detached burial ground opened in 1842. It is laid out with many historic monuments. The Cemetery closed to new burials in 1946, but has been lovingly restored as a beautiful, tranquil green space and is tended by a dedicated group of volunteers. The dedicated area for interring ashes is marked out at the Garden of Remembrance with a border of miniature shrubs.

What happens at an interment?

You can request a priest (usually the Rector) to preside at an interment. This short ceremony usually includes some words of remembrance and prayers. Prior to the ceremony, a small plot is dug in preparation, and the ashes are then ceremonially poured into the hole (or placed in a bio-degradable container) and covered with earth. You may wish to leave flowers. Please note that there is no facility for burying the ashes within a permanent container or vessel, or for placing any permanent memorial on the plot.

However, if you wish to commemorate a loved one, it is possible to commission a memorial glass tile on the Celebration of Life Wall within Rectory Lane Cemetery.

For full details, please read the Rectory Lane Cemetery information document

How to arrange an interment

  1. Contact the Rector of St Peter’s initially to discuss your wishes and to agree a date
  2. Contact St Peter’s Parish Office with your contact details, the name and date of death of the person whose ashes are to be interred, the date of the interment, and to arrange payment of the statutory fees to the Parochial Church Council.
  3. Contact your funeral director to retrieve the ashes
  4. Contact a gravedigger to arrange digging a hole for the ashes and backfilling.
  5. If you wish to inter ashes in Rectory Lane Cemetery, contact Kate Campbell, Cemetery Ranger, to identify and locate the plot and arrange access on the specified date.

What are the fees?

  • A statutory interment fee is payable to the Parochial Church Council (PCC) (revised annually)
  • Optional certification fee is payable to the PCC
  • For optional service – at the discretion of the minister involved
  • For digging and backfilling hole for the ashes: negotiated directly with the gravedigger.
  • For interments in Rectory Lane Cemetery, we also ask for a discretionary donation to the Rectory Lane Cemetery Project


photo of Kate Campbell

Kate Campbell

Rectory Lane Cemetery Ranger
photo of Parish Office

Parish Office

 01442 878227
photo of Fr Stuart Owen

Fr Stuart Owen

Rector & Rural Dean
 01442 879739