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BRITARCH-NEWS  November 2002

BRITARCH-NEWS November 2002

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Subject:

Church Archaeology and Human Remains Working Group

From:

Jonathan Bateman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jonathan Bateman <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 4 Nov 2002 11:26:51 -0000

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text/plain

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Dear Colleague

Church Archaeology and Human Remains Working Group: Call for Submissions

The Council for the Care of Churches, the Cathedrals Fabric Commission and English Heritage have sponsored a Working Group on the above subject, to consider and provide guidelines on the various aspects of this complex subject.  

Please find enclosed the Terms of Reference and the membership of the Working Group and its constituent specialist panels.  I hope this will be of interest to you, and formally invite your submission, which should be sent to myself at the address below by the end of January 2003 if possible. 

If there is anything further you wish to know or any other way we might be able to assist, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely

DR JOSEPH ELDERS
ARCHAEOLOGY OFFICER


Council for the Care of Churches
Cathedrals Fabric Commission
English Heritage


CHURCH ARCHAEOLOGY AND HUMAN REMAINS WORKING GROUP: TERMS OF REFERENCE

The terms of reference for the Working Group have been agreed by CCC, CFCE and EH as follows.

The Working Group is invited to consider the issues below and to report back within a year with a draft Report.  The Report will be considered by the sponsors before finalisation, and may then be subject to a six-month consultation period.  The Report should address the following issues:-


1.      To consider what are the issues, arising from the discovery, excavation or other uncovering of human remains, that are currently faced in practice by:-

(a)     those responsible for the management of Church of England churchyards and burial grounds , and
 
(b)     archaeologists.

2.      To consider what are the constraints upon the action of those responsible for the management of churchyards and upon archaeologists in dealing with these issues, including:-

(a)     legal constraints, both secular and ecclesiastical,

(b)     ethical and theological constraints,

(c)     practical constraints, including those of finance and resources.

3.      To produce a brief summary of the legal position relating to the custody and disturbance of human remains, under both secular and ecclesiastical law, including an identification of issues on which the law appears to be unclear.

4.      Taking account of: (i) the above constraints (but not excluding recommendations that might be achieved if modest or reasonable changes to the constraints could be brought about); (ii) the work being done by the Churches Funerals Group and by the DCMS Working Group on Human Remains; and (iii) the sensitivities of other denominations and religious organisations,  to bring forward recommendations on:-

(a)     the principles that should underlie the treatment accorded to human remains in relation to (i) the continuing use or otherwise of churchyards for burials where the churchyard is already "full" (including the re-use of burial grounds, the use of burial grounds for new-born infants, and the re-opening of closed burial grounds); and (ii) the siting  of new buildings in churchyards to develop the worship and mission of the church;

(b)     the ethical and religious standards that should apply to the disturbance (for whatever purpose) of human remains that have received a Christian burial in a churchyard or burial ground;

(c)     issues of pastoral care relating to the treatment of disturbed human remains;

(d)     the criteria that should apply to assessing the scientific and cultural research potential and importance for study of  human remains that are to be disturbed;

(e)     the principles that should be followed in the archaeological mitigation of proposals that involve the disturbance of human remains

(f)     the criteria for assessing when (i) the reburial of human remains or (ii) their retention for future study should be undertaken following their disturbance;

(g)     the practicalities of storing human remains, retained for study, in circumstances that respect both their scientific interest and their Christian status;

(h)     what procedures or structures, if any,  might be put in place in future to provide guidance and advice in particular cases in relation to the above issues;

(i)     what publications, in what media, and addressed to what audiences, might now be helpful for providing general guidance in relation to the above issues;

(j)     the press, TV and radio handling of the above issues.


CHURCH ARCHAEOLOGY AND HUMAN REMAINS WORKING GROUP: MEMBERSHIP OF GROUP AND PANELS


     Joseph Elders (CCC), joint Group convenor and on all panels 
     Simon Mays (EH), joint Group convenor and on all panels

        Ethics and Theology Panel

     Archdeacon Tim Ellis, convenor 
     Dean of Rochester
     Maurice Davies, Museums Association and DCMS Human Remains Working Group
     Andrew Lane, Southwark DAC
     Margaret Cox, Bournemouth University
     Jude Webster CCC, Secretary (minutes) 

        Legal Panel

     David Baker, Diocesan Archaeological Adviser, ADCA, CBA, convenor 
     Robert Clifford, HO Coroners Office
     Julian Litten, Church Monuments Society
     Alison Taylor, Institute of Field Archaeologists 
     Jonathan Goodchild, CCC
     David Turner QC, Chancellor of Chester Diocese
     Alexandra Nickell, CFCE, Secretary (minutes)

        Science and Technical Panel

     Sebastian Payne, EH, convenor 
     Margaret Cox, Bournemouth University
     Louise Humphreys, Natural History Museum 
     Philip Dixon, Cathedral Archaeologist 
     Julian Litten, Church Monuments Society 
     Jane Siddel, EH London Region Science Adviser 
     Barney Sloane, University of Reading 
     EH Secretary (minutes)

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