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Wales ‘running out of burial space’, church warns

The Church of Wales has warned that burial space could soon run out in the country.

Many of the cemeteries in Wales have either run out of burial plots, closed themselves to new burials while others say they have a few years before they reach full capacity.

Recently, Cardiff council proposed the purchase of a plot of land to build a new cemetery, as the city’s busiest graveyard Thornhill, was expected to run out of space by 2020 due to an ageing and expanding population.

Research by BBC Wales found that the lack of burial space went beyond Cardiff, with cemeteries in Pembroke, Powys, Machynlleth and Caerphilly among some of the grounds which have said they are completely out of space or close to full capacity.

Other cemeteries in different cities and towns have said they have up to 100 years before they are full.

The Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) has described the situation as being at “crisis point” and has called for the law to be changed to allow the re-usage of graves.

Alex Glanville, head of property services at the Church of Wales told the BBC:  “We can no longer take it for granted that we will have a last resting place in or near our community.

“The majority of our churchyards will soon be full and we do not have the resources to extend them or open new ones.”

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