Council To Consider A Dedicated Muslim Area At Burgess Hill Burial Ground
26th January 2017
Burgess Hill Town Council are to decide on weather to introduce Muslim burials at the Burgess Hill Burial Ground when the full council meet on Monday evening (Jan 30th)
Council papers reveal that talks have taken place with the Muslim community over what their requirements would be in order for the burial ground to be of satisfactory use to them.
The Muslim religion does not allow their followers to be buried alongside those of a different faith. A dedicated area has been requested to accommodate them. It had been requested that a hedge be planted to segregate the Muslim area, but the town council are looking to provide an additional footpath only, this is due to the costs of maintaining a hedge.
Cencus data has been used to calculate that providing 45 spaces at the burial ground should be sufficient to cover the next 10 years.
However, the Town council do have concerns that the plots could fill up very quickly as the only other burial grounds/graveyards for Muslims are in
Crawley and Hove. The policy is to charge five times the fee for someone outside of the town, but this may not be enough to dissuade non Burgess Hill residents.
The main points in the proposal put together by the Town Council staff are as follows:
- The Muslim area will be located at the easterly edge of the East Green, adjacent to the fence that separates the burial ground from the car park. This area will be dedicated to Muslim only burials.
- It is estimated there will be between 30-40 plots available for Muslim burials.
- Grave’s will be dug to ensure the orientation of the deceased’s body complies with the Muslim faith.
- Although there will be no specific demarcation of the Muslim area, a “noman’s land” between the Muslim area and non-Muslim area of the East Green will be put in-place. The option to provide a footpath through this area is for consideration, however, a full costing needs to be undertaken to establish if the Town Council has the funds available.
- The preferred option is to bury the deceased within 24 to 48 hours and Burgess Hill Town Council will use their best endeavours to accommodate this timescale. Should this not be possible, the deceased family will have the option to either wait until the next available day or relocate the burial to an alternative burial ground.
|Spread the word, the burial ground could be about to go multi-cultural