Cemetery Guidelines

The historical cemeteries at both St Mary’s and All Saints churches are an important link to the earliest days of European settlement in the Swan Valley.

The first funeral at St Mary’s was for Lucy Yule, the wife of Magistrate T.N. Yule who died in 1838. The oldest surviving gravestone at All Saints is that of Jane Dewar, who died in 1853, and her husband John who died the following year. Many of the earliest burials at both sites are unmarked.

Both cemeteries were closed in 1963 following a decision by the Perth Diocesan Trustees, which means that in general no further burials can be conducted. Burials however continued to be conducted for families who had purchased family plots prior to the closure, and today the parish still maintains a list of those who retain a right to be buried in each of the cemeteries.

 

Any enquiries regarding a continuing right to be buried at either All Saints or St Mary’s should be directed to the Parish Office (ph 9274 2661 or email office@swananglicans.org.au). Please bear in mind that permission for a funeral to be conducted in a closed cemetery needs to be sought from the Minister of Local Government.

The cemeteries at All Saints and St Mary’s fall under the authority of a Local Board comprising the current Parish Priest and Wardens. The Local Board is responsible for making regulations from time to time regarding the general upkeep of the cemeteries, although the maintenance of individual graves remains the responsibility of relatives.

 

Rules relating to the cemeteries currently include:

  • Close-up photography of grave-markers may only be conducted with the permission of relatives of those interred in the grave plot.

  • The Board reserves the right to remove broken masonry and wrought-iron work to maintain the neatness and safety for those using the site, and to plant within and around grave plots no longer being actively maintained by families.

  • Flowers placed on graves must be confined neatly within fixed vases or receptacles.

  • Artificial flowers are permitted, although we prefer natural flowers or living plants for aesthetic and ecological reasons.

  • Loose objects including toys or memorabilia may not be left on graves.

  • The Board reserves the right to tidy the cemetery by removing loose objects and spent flowers.

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