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Church of England rules that mum can have son's body reburied in Winchester
A HAMPSHIRE mother has been granted rare permission by a Church of England judge to have her stillborn son exhumed from a London cemetery and reburied in Hampshire.
In an unsual case the mum wanted to move her son’s remains to Winchester where she has now settled with her husband and two children.
Philip Petchey, a judge of the Church of England’s Consistory Court, has ruled that the circumstances are exceptional enough to allow him to go behind the usual rule that Christian burial in consecrated ground is final.
He granted permission to the mum, who the Daily Echo has decided not to name, for the exhumation of here stillborn son, in order to allow the reinterment in the consecrated part of a Winchester cemetery.
The judge said his initial view was that permission should be refused.
But after hearing the mum and her husband he had changed his mind.
Their son was stillborn in 2006 and buried in London.
Since then the family live in Winchester, where the couple run a business and worship at a local church.
Outlining the nature of the petition, he said when the mum lived in London she was able to look after the grave and plant flowers on it.
He added: “She has not been able to do this in the same way now that she has moved, and so a visit, when it does take place, does not afford so much comfort to her.”
The judge added that the mum wanted her son’s grave near because “she did not want to lose the sense of him being part of the family.”
He added: “She believed that he was still alive, although he no longer enjoyed an earthly life, and that the presence of his grave near to where they lived would help the family to appreciate that.”