Grave dispute delayed body burial

A GRAVE dispute in Hertfordshire led to the burial of a body being delayed, causing further grief to the mourning family.

The funeral of 98-year-old William Worby was delayed by two hours after a priest at Old Hall Green in Hertfordshire decided to question the size of the grave.

His son Peter said that due to the added stress and subsequent delay, the family was “robbed of grief”.

The issue had been raised prior to the service, which occurred on Wednesday, October 28, however, the family believed the situation had been resolved in advance.

Sadly, because the priest could not be found before the service, the 62-year-old son of the deceased said: “I got on my hands and knees and measured the grave which was 46in (117cm).

“In sandy soil, the minimum recommended is 24in (61cm) and when my father’s coffin went in it measured 30in (76cm).”

Eventually, the service went ahead, despite further grave dispute discussions delaying the body burial.

“Many mourners had to wait outside in cold as only a few could wait in the church hall due to social distancing,” Mr. Worby said.

“I begged the priest to allow my father to be buried. I was in disbelief. I feel robbed of my grief.

“My family and I all agree, it wasn’t a funeral. We were all in shock and anger.”

In a statement, Bishop Paul McAleenan, Auxiliary Bishop in Westminster, said: “Every effort is made to carry out this important duty with dignity for the deceased and care for the bereaved.

“Unfortunately on this occasion, there were some complications involving the grave plot which upset the family of the deceased.

“We are sorry for the added distress they suffered as a result.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at