Welsh Church (Burial Grounds) Act 1945

The Welsh Church (Burial Grounds) Act 1945 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The act relates to burial grounds in Wales that were transferred from the Church of England to Welsh local authorities following the disestablishment and independence of the Church in Wales from the Church of England.

Welsh Church (Burial Grounds) Act 1945
Long titleAn Act to amend the provisions of the Welsh Church Act 1914 relating to burial grounds and for purposes connected therewith
Citationc. 27
Territorial extentWales and Monmouthshire
Royal assent1945
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended


When the Welsh Church Act 1914 was passed to disestablish the Church in Wales, the responsibility for maintenance of burial grounds and churchyards were transferred from the church to local authorities, though the Church in Wales' Representative Body retained a number of ancient churchyards. Often local authorities did not accept legal responsibility for them, and the burial grounds were vested in the Welsh Church Commissioners. As a result, the Church in Wales continued to look after them despite having no legal obligation to do so.[1] In 1944, the Church in Wales informed the Government of the United Kingdom that they would be prepared to take responsibility for the burial grounds that had not passed to local authorities. Parliament passed the Welsh Church (Burial Grounds) Act 1945 unanimously to allow for the transfer of churchyards and burial grounds from the Welsh Church Commissioners back to the control of the Church in Wales.[1][2]


The Welsh Church (Burial Grounds) Act 1945 stated that the Church in Wales would be responsible for the maintenance of burial grounds that were transferred to it under the provisions of the statute.[3] The Church in Wales' Representative Body delegated that requirement to individual parochial church councils. The Act also granted local authorities the power but not the duty to take the burial grounds back from individual churches if they became full or the church became redundant.[1] The restoration of the legal rights to burials to a disestablished church was viewed as the Church in Wales retaining several "vestiges of establishment" despite being separate from the Church of England.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Morgan, Barry (2012-03-11). "The Church in Wales: Briefing Note, National Assembly for Wales, Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee". National Assembly for Wales. Retrieved 2016-05-02. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Welsh Church (Burial Grounds) Act 1945, section 1". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
  3. ^ "Welsh Church (Burial Grounds) Act 1945, section 3". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-04.
  4. ^ Hunter-Heinen, Dr Myriam (2013). Law, Religious Freedoms and Education in Europe. Ashgate Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 1409497917.