The maintenance and upkeep of churchyards is the responsibility of the parish. Alterations to the churchyard will potentially fall within the faculty jurisdiction which means that consent may be required.

Parishioners and those whose names are on the electoral roll of a particular church have a right to be buried in the graveyard of their parish church if there is sufficient space. However, if a churchyard has been closed, then no further burials can normally take place there.

This right of burial extends to the interment of cremated remains.

The responsibility for the management and maintenance of a churchyard generally rests with the PCC. Once a churchyard has been closed, the responsibility for maintenance may be passed to the Local Authority.

Where a churchyard has been closed (see the Burial Act 1853, which provides for this to be done by an Order in Council), any burial in the churchyard will require a faculty, either by way of a prior reservation of grave space or to permit the use of a family grave. In default, any burial is liable to amount to an offence under the Burial Act 1853. Section 88(2) and (3) of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018 permits the interment of cremated remains in a closed churchyard. In the recent (2019) case of Re St Oswald, Filey, the York Consistory Court held that the provisions of the 2018 Measure did not permit burial (cf interment) in the closed churchyard. An order for costs was made against the undertaker concerned.