The Parish Council response appears in full below:
“The application seeks to close part of the churchyard only. Paragraph 5 of the Guidance Notes on the Closure of Church of England Churchyards produced by the Ministry of Justice suggests that this is not normally permitted because burial rights ‘could and should continue to be exercised in any remaining open part of the churchyard’. No reason has been given to justify varying this practice.
“It is unclear how much potential capacity remains in the old part of the churchyard (which is approximately double the size of the area proposed for closure). In launching a public consultation (which runs to the end of December 2014), the PCC has stated that the old part of the churchyard remains open and that it seeks views on the reuse of areas currently containing burials. Eynsham Parish Council is concerned that any premature decision to close part of the churchyard - a decision which, it understands, cannot subsequently be overturned - would arbitrarily render that particular area unavailable for future generations at the same time as reuse is being actively considered in another part of the churchyard.
“Eynsham Parish Council would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues further with the PCC. In 2009 the Parish Council was instrumental in securing £30,000 of S106 developer funding specifically earmarked for improvement and/or extension of the churchyard. Despite considerable efforts on the part of the Parish Council, additional suitable land has not been identified and the funding remains unused. Eynsham Parish Council believes that the community would want to see this funding accessed to help find a suitable solution to the present difficulties which will allow future generations to exercise the common law right to burial within our parish churchyard in the same way as their ancestors.”