Cornwall

Widow angry over husband's parish border graveyard snub

Stephen and Tina Gale on their wedding day
Image caption Tina Gale's husband, Stephen, pictured on their wedding day, died suddenly in December aged 55

A widow has said it is a "disgrace" her late husband could not be buried in the family graveyard she can see from their home - because they lived too far away.

Tina Gale's husband Stephen, 55, wanted to be laid to rest with "generations" of their family in Kenwyn, Cornwall.

But despite living "just yards" from the parish border, Mrs Gale was told they were based too far away.

The Truro Diocese said the deceased must be living in the parish or be on the church electoral roll to qualify.

"My family is one of the oldest still connected to Kenwyn going back generations," said Mrs Gale, whose husband died suddenly just before Christmas.

"From our bungalow I can look towards Kenwyn where my parents and other generations of my family are buried.

"To be a stone's throw from the parish where you've been born and grown up - it's an absolute disgrace."

Image caption Mrs Gale's bungalow is on a hill that overlooks the family graveyard

Mrs Gale's family have a farm at Allet in Kenwyn and she lived there until she married her husband in 2002.

The couple could not find a property in the area at that time.

"When we bought our bungalow it did not occur to us we were even living outside the parish as I am looking at it from my house," she said.

Reluctantly, Mrs Gale decided on a cremation for her husband - who died on 22 December - and it was agreed her parents' grave could be opened up for the ashes to be placed in.

Image caption Mrs Gale says her family is one of the oldest still connected to the parish

"I tried to explain to [the vicar] my connections with Kenwyn, but he said he wouldn't break the rules for me or anyone else," Mrs Gale said.

The Diocese of Truro said its policy was "not unusual or unique and is applied in an effort to be fair to all".

"We had hoped the interment of Mr Gale's ashes in a family plot in the churchyard at Kenwyn, within the same parish, had been a compromise that had been acceptable to everyone," it said.

A chaplain at the diocese has agreed to meet Mrs Gale to discuss the handling of the case.

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