Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 8378

Muslim Burial

Request

1. Provision for Muslim burial:

a) Have you in the past provided specific areas in your cemeteries for the burial of Muslims?

b) Do you currently provide specific areas in your cemeteries for the burial of Muslims?

c) If you do not currently provide for Muslim burial, do you have any plans to do so within the next 5 years?

2. For each cemetery where you have previously provided or currently do provide specific areas for the burial of Muslims please advise:

a)         Name of cemetery

b)         No. of grave spaces used: i) to date and ii) in 2013 for the burial of adults (12 years and over).

c)         Number of grave spaces remaining for the burial of adults (12 years and over)

d)         No. of grave spaces used: i) to date and ii) in 2013 for the burial of children (2 to 12 years)

e)         Number of grave spaces remaining for the burial of children (2 to 12 years)

f)          No. of grave spaces used: i) to date and ii) in 2013 for the burial of infants (O to 2 years)

g)         Number of grave spaces remaining for the burial of infants (O to 2 years) 

3. Do you provide different areas specifically for different Muslim groups?

4. What type of graves do you provide in the specific areas for the burial of Muslims:

a)         Standard earth grave

b)         Concrete burial chamber

c)         Other - please specify

5. Do you allow the burial of a body in a shroud only, or do you require all bodies to be buried in coffins?

6. Do you provide any type of wooden planks or board for use in covering the body within the grave?

7. Do you permit anyone to enter the grave to place the body at the base of the grave?

8. Do you permit mourners to backfill the grave after the burial?

9. Do you permit the grave to remain mounded, or after allowing time for settlement do you require that the grave be maintained as a lawn grave, i.e. level with the adjoining ground?

10. Do you permit Muslim burials to take place on a:

a)         Saturday?

b)         Sunday?

c)         Public Holiday?

11. How quickly are you able to accept a Muslim burial:

a)         Within 24 hours of a telephone booking?

b)         Within 48 hours of a telephone booking?

c)         Other? - please specify

12. Are graves specifically for Muslims orientated to Mecca and, if so, how has this been determined?

Response

With regards the questions outlined in your email, I have answered these in corresponding number format below.

1. a. No we have not had specific areas for Muslim burials in our cemeteries.
b. No we currently do not provide specific areas.
c. We do not have any plans at this stage but this may be reviewed in future.
2. Not applicable as we do not have nor have had specific areas for Muslim burial.
3. No we don’t provide different areas for different Muslim groups.
4. Not applicable.
5. Yes we would allow a shroud, providing the depth of the grave is sufficient to prevent animals from disturbing the grave.
6. No we don’t provide wooden planks or boards for covering the body in the grave.
7. No we don’t allow entering of the grave due to health and safety issues, the body would be laid to rest in the same manner as a coffin i.e. with straps and lower.
8. We would allow mourners to scatter soil or place a shovel of soil into the grave but not to completely backfill due to health and safety issues.
9. We require the grave to be lawned as per the rest of the cemetery.
10. As a local authority we do not work on these days as standard. In exceptional circumstances this may be agreed but additional charges would be made.
11. As a Council we require 5 working days notice of a burial and final coffin sizes 3 days prior to burial, however, in exceptional circumstances we would try and accommodate shorter time frames where possible.
12. No.