Cemeteries and burial service
The council operates two cemeteries one in Chichester and the other in Hampers Green Petworth. They both offer tranquil surroundings for contemplation and a fitting resting place for your loved ones. At Chichester District Council, we pride ourselves on managing both our cemeteries in a caring and sensitive manner.
The cemeteries are managed and operated in accordance with the Local Authorities' Cemeteries Order 1977 as amended by the Local Authorities (Amendment) Order 1986 and such other regulations as may be made by the Secretary of State for the Home Office.
We welcome all visitors to our cemeteries but ask you to respect the peace, dignity and reverence of the facilities. The cemeteries are a place of quiet contemplation and reflection. As such, any person creating a disturbance, interfering with a burial or grave (including memorials, mementoes and plants) will be required to leave the cemetery. Dogs are permitted in the Cemetery as long as they are on a leash and kept under control. It is not acceptable to use the cemetery grounds as an exercise area for your dog.
Enquiries regarding past interments and plot locations contact:
West Sussex County Council Record Office,
3 Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD.
Telephone number: 01243 753602
All other enquiries for Chichester Portfield & Hampers Green Cemetery please contact the Cemetery Officer, Monday to Friday 9am - 2pm on:
Name: Cemetery Services
Chichester District Council
Tel: 01243 521154
Office hours: 9.00am - 2.00pm Monday to Friday
The gates at Chichester Cemetery and Hampers Green Cemetery are open to the public 24hrs a day all year. Vehicular access is permitted but we respectfully ask that you keep to the tarmac road and do not drive on the grass/grave areas. Please also be aware that there is a 5 mph speed limit within the Cemetery grounds. Chichester District Council reserves the right to restrict access to the public whilst there is a funeral in progress.
Things to be done when someone dies:
- If someone dies at home, you must call your doctor who will sign a medical certificate confirming the cause of death (unless the matter is referred to the Coroner). If the death happened in hospital, the doctor there will issue the certificate.
- You must take the certificate to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages within the area where death occurred within 5 days (this is a legal requirement). An appointment will be required. If available, take the medical certificate and the medical card. They will also need to know if they were receiving a pension or other benefit.
- The Registration Office for Chichester District is administered by West Sussex County Council & can be contacted via their West Sussex County Council.
- The registrar will give you a certificate of registration of death and a certificate for burial or cremation which should be given to the funeral director.
- You may need several copies of the death certificate to send to banks, building societies and insurance companies (there is a fee payable for copies).
Before you begin to arrange the funeral it is worth thinking about a few points:
- Did the person who has died have firm views about what they wanted their funeral to be like (did they leave instructions?)
- What sort of funeral do you, and other family and friends want? Do you want a quiet family gathering or an elaborate ceremony?
- Will there be a religious service?
You may wish to make all the funeral arrangements yourself. You should seek advice from the council before proceeding. However, most people do use a funeral director.
Chichester District Council does not make any payments to relatives or friends of the deceased to help with the cost of the funeral. If a person has died and there is no next of kin or family to administer and pay for it then the council has an obligation under the Public Health Act (Control of Diseases) Act 1984, Section 46 Disposal of Dead Bodies to make satisfactory arrangements for the burial or cremation of the deceased.
Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 local authorities it shall be the duty of the local authority to cause to be buried or cremated the body of any person who has died or been found dead in their area, in any case where it appears to the authority that no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been or are being made otherwise than by the authority.
In most cases notification is normally received via the coroner's office but can come from an individual, the Hospice or a Home where the deceased may have been living prior to their death. If the person died in hospital and there is no known next of kin or relatives then the hospital will usually deal with organising the funeral.
An authority may recover from the estate of the deceased person or from any person who for the purposes of the National Assistance Act 1948 was liable to maintain the deceased person immediately before their death expenses incurred under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) above, less any amount recovered by the authority by way of a death grant in respect of that death under Section 32 of the Social Security Act 1975.
The Local Authorities have contracts with funeral directors. If any person other than the contract funeral director is asked to make arrangements, the Local Authority cannot be responsible for any costs incurred up to that point.
The deceased will be cremated and ashes will be returned to the Chichester Cemetery office unless the Council have any reason to believe that this is contrary to the deceased's religious belief. In such cases a burial can be arranged.
Under the provisions of Section 50 of the National Assistance Act 1948 the council has the power to recover the costs of the funeral from the estate of the deceased person. Any funds, in excess of £500, remaining from the deceased person's estate will be forwarded to the Treasury Solicitor (Bona Vacantia). Decisions on such matters will be made purely on a case by case basis once all facts regarding their affairs have been established.
In order to establish who will be responsible for undertaking the funeral arrangements, a full search of the premises where the deceased person formerly resided, if appropriate, will need to be made to ascertain whether there are any next-of-kin or indeed if there is evidence of a will. Two officers from the district council will attend the premises to carry out the search and list all items removed from the property. The council officers will make every effort to ascertain if there are any contact details for family or friends of the deceased and endeavour to liaise with them on the funeral arrangements. The coroner will usually make enquiries regarding next of kin before passing the disposal of the body over to the Local Authority and in some cases may put an announcement in the local press for anyone related to or knowing the deceased to come forward.
We will deal with all aspects of the organisation of a public assisted funeral:
- Registering the death
- Dealing with the appointed undertaker and organising the details of the funeral
- Paying for the funeral
- Seek to recover our expenses from any estate left by the deceased
We will not:
- Accept part payment for funerals
- Contribute to the costs of funerals organised by other persons
- Administer Estates on behalf of others
If any estate remains after we have recovered our expenses and the deceased has no living blood relatives the council will refer the estate to the Government's Treasury Solicitor for final administration.
Chichester & Petworth Cemetery
Name: Chichester & Petworth Cemetery
Chichester District Council
Stane Street, Westhampnett
Tel: +44 01243 521154
Please note: Chichester District Council does not operate Chichester Crematorium
Name: Chichester Crematorium
Tel: +44 01243 781816