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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Show some respect please

There's an interesting article in the BBC online Magazine about Graveyard Etiquette.

There are no rules for visiting burial sites and a number of different groups have fallen foul. Birders for instance can get in trouble when a rare bird arrives at a churchyard, there have been reports of birders trampling on graves to get a good view.

The public probably are unaware that the 1977 Local Authority Cemeteries' Order sets down some basic laws of conduct. Creating a disturbance in a churchyard, committing a nuisance, wilfully interfering with burials or graves, or playing games or sports, are all finable offences.

Personally I'd find it hard to argue with that but i've seen kids use graves as climbing frames as there parents looked on. They got told to show some respect by me though.

There was anger in Scotland recently when a family picnicked on top of one of the grave mounds at Culloden. As someone said such behaviour would not be accepted at World War I battlefields such as Flanders or Ypres.

The National Trust for Scotland and are currently having signs made up to explain that the battlefield is a war grave and asking visitors to behave accordingly

Of course even those who should no better get it wrong.

St Mary's church in Wimbledon Village charged tennis fans £20 a day to park in its burial ground, it justified the decision by saying the graves were 200 years old or more. No living relatives would be offended, it said. It also gave the money to charities.

Are we less respectful? I think we are. Part of that is that previously families stayed in the same area and therefore were able to pay respects and keep graves in good order. Now we all live miles apart and graves are left unattended, of course that is no reason to show disrespect.


Anonymous said...

Also, I suppose, there's finite room in Britain for graves, especially if we are saving all the oldest as well as the newest. I just thought of that when you said they turned one ground over to car parking! Cars are insatiable... they will have their way.

Anna said...

I'm a bit ambivalent about this.

I mean, the dead people surely don't care, so I don't get why live people are so bothered.

But on the other hand I wouldn't dream of standing on a grave or picnicking on a burial mound.

Maybe it's different when it's history rather than just some ordinary old bones.

no grave for me though, I want to be cremated and have a nice plaque somewhere and a party.

Anonymous said...

There is NO respect for the living these days, so the dead have no chance, these graves are someones relations,does it matter if there are any living relations left?? its just showing some respect that matters!! But these days, the thought, never mind the act of common decency seems to be mocked.


Tricia said...

No - I don't believe there is respect paid in graveyards these days and, for whatever reason, it's a sad indictment on our society.

Someone will be related to those occupants in the graveyards and that alone should commandeer respect - considering both the living and the dead.

Mary said...

I think sadly it is a reflection on the times we live in.Some people seem to have very little respect for anything. I guess it is a sign of getting old when you start to look back at your youth and thinking if the youngsters of today were given the same guidelines we had the world would be a better place.
If we were in school uniform and were sitting on a bus whilst a member of the public was standing, it would be a detention if a teacher saw us!I went to a standard state school! In those days it was simply called good manners. We were taught that wherever we went we did not cause a disturbance to other people or property.

Pete said...


when i was a kid if i got in trouble with a teacher (which was very rare) then my folks would imagine I desered. Nowadays the parents think their little Jack and Jill are little angels.