Aldersgate United Methodist Church - Molino, Florida
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Cemetery Guidelines

           

Guidelines for the Management, Control and Operation of the Aldersgate United Methodist Church Cemetery (formerly the Molino Methodist Church Cemetery)

1.     1. The Aldersgate United Methodist Church Cemetery (hereinafter “cemetery”) is held in trust by Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Molino, Florida (GCFA # 241164) for the benefit of The United Methodist Church, and ownership and usage of the cemetery is subject to the provisions  of the current Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church.  The cemetery was established for the use of its members, if they so desire. In the management, control and operation of the cemetery, the cemetery committee shall give preference to members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

2.     2. Definitions:

a.      Cemetery committee: a committee established by the Aldersgate United Methodist Church Board of Trustees to perform any and all acts necessary for the day-to-day management, control and operation of the cemetery.  Except as specifically provided herein, the cemetery committee is vested with all powers necessary and proper to the conduct of their responsibilities. In conjunction with the Board of Trustees, the cemetery committee shall grant or deny requests for use by non-members, as provided herein.  In conjunction with the pastor, the cemetery committee shall consider emergency requests, as provided herein.  In conjunction with the pastor, the cemetery committee shall determine the membership status of persons wishing to use the cemetery.  The cemetery committee shall have full and exclusive authority to enforce these guidelines, subject to the Book of Discipline; and except as otherwise provided, all decisions made by the cemetery committee shall be final and not subject to further review.  The cemetery committee may authorize one of its members to act on behalf of the committee.

b.      Use:  burial in a gravesite approved by the cemetery committee.

c.       Permission:  a naked license to use the cemetery.  Permission shall not convey any property right beyond such license. Permission may not be sold, conveyed, bequeathed, transferred, assigned, encumbered or otherwise alienated.

d.     Request for use:  a written submission to the cemetery committee by a non-member asking for permission to use the cemetery.  A request for use must contain 1) a statement identifying the requesting party’s relationship to a member, 2) a statement of the desired location of use (i.e., requested gravesite), 3) a certification that the requesting party has complied with and will comply with all guidelines established by the cemetery committee. 

e.      Emergency request:  In cases of indigence, a person who has no other place of burial may ask permission for use.  Such a request may be made orally or in writing to the pastor, cemetery committee, or Board of Trustees.  The cemetery committee shall consult with the pastor in all such requests. Emergency requests are otherwise subject to the requirements for approval for use by non-members.

f.        Vault:  A vault shall be defined as provided in the laws of the State of Florida, and all vaults shall meet the requirements of applicable state law.

g.      Member(s):  a member in good standing of Aldersgate United Methodist Church.  Membership is defined as provided in the current Book of Discipline. The cemetery committee shall consult with the pastor in the event of questions concerning a person’s membership status.

h.      Non-members:  all persons who are not members.

i.        Board of Trustees:  The Board of Trustees of Aldersgate United Methodist Church as constituted by the Aldersgate Charge Conference and as defined in the current Book of Discipline.

3.    3.  Cemetery plots shall not be sold or otherwise alienated in the cemetery.  Permission to use the cemetery is the grant of a naked license for burial, and shall not convey any other property right in cemetery property.  Persons who intend to use the cemetery may not convey, bequeath, transfer, assign, encumber or otherwise alienate the permission granted to them for use.

a.      Gifts or donations for maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery will be accepted.  Requests for donations shall be governed by the Board of Trustees and the cemetery committee.  

b.      Donations shall be managed by the cemetery committee subject to the audit and reporting requirements of the Book of Discipline.

4.    4.  By operation of these guidelines, members are deemed to have permission to use the cemetery subject to compliance with these guidelines, and subject to the approval of gravesites by the cemetery committee.

5.    5.  Non-members may use the cemetery subject to approval of the cemetery committee and the Board of Trustees, and subject to full compliance with all provisions of these guidelines. 

a.      Persons who are close relatives of church members will be given favorable consideration, provided they comply with all provisions of these guidelines.

b.      A request for use may be approved by two-thirds majority vote of all of the Board of Trustees and cemetery committee members. A person serving on both the Board of Trustees and the cemetery committee concurrently shall have only one vote and shall be counted as only one vote. 

6.    6.  In the event of an emergency request by a non-member who is not a close relative of a member, a two-plot strip along the south edge of the cemetery shall be the only area considered for such use.

7.     7. Use of the cemetery shall require a vault.

8.     8. Advanced coping of gravesites by non-members shall not be allowed under any circumstances.  No coping of gravesites for emergency use shall be allowed.  Advanced coping of member’s gravesites may be allowed in the sole discretion of the cemetery committee.

9.    9.  On those gravesites where coping has been installed, maintenance and upkeep within the coping shall be the sole responsibility of the family of the member using the site.

10. 10. Due to the increased maintenance costs associated with coping, the use of coping is discouraged.  The cemetery committee, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees, is authorized to adopt and impose reasonable fees for the use of coping.  Any fees collected shall be applied to maintenance of the cemetery.

11. 11. The height of a grave headstone shall not exceed 36 inches, measured from the ground.

12. 12. No permanent canopies over gravesites shall be allowed.

13. 13. No plants or trees shall be planted at individual gravesites.  All plantings within the cemetery must be approved by the cemetery committee.

14.14.  If the cemetery committee determines that a gravesite is either not marked or not maintained, the committee shall notify responsible family member in writing that they should correct the problem.  If, within ninety days of the date of the notice, the cemetery committee determines that the problem persists, any permission granted under paragraph 4 above to responsible family members shall be deemed null and void.

15. 15. This revision of the cemetery guidelines shall be fully effective upon adoption by the cemetery committee acting in conjunction with the Board of Trustees.  No prior action or inaction on the part of the cemetery committee, the Board of Trustees, the members of the same, or any other person shall effect in any way the adoption, force, effect or enforcement of these guidelines; neither shall the cemetery committee, the Board of Trustees, or Aldersgate United Methodist Church be stopped from enforcing these guidelines by any prior action or inaction.  The enforcement, lack of enforcement or exercise of the cemetery committee’s discretion in enforcing previous revisions of the guidelines is deemed irrelevant, and shall not be considered by the cemetery committee, the Board of Trustees or any other person acting on behalf of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in the enforcement or operation of these guidelines.

16. 16. These guidelines may be revised, amended, changed, modified or rescinded at any time by the cemetery committee acting in conjunction with the Board of Trustees.  Aldersgate United Methodist Church will supply a copy of the current guidelines to any person who requests it within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request. However, it is the duty of any persons wishing to use the cemetery to educate themselves regarding the contents of the current guidelines. Ignorance of the contents of these guidelines shall not excuse any person from compliance with the same. 

a.      Nothing in these guidelines shall be deemed to impose a duty on Aldersgate United Methodist Church, its officers or employees, the cemetery committee, the Board of Trustees or the members of the cemetery committee or the Board of Trustees.

b.      The adoption of these guidelines neither conveys nor vests any legal rights whatsoever, except as specifically provided by the Book of Discipline.  Specifically, nothing in these guidelines affords any non-member a right to object to these guidelines or the enforcement thereof.

 

 

Original guidelines adopted 5-12-81

Revised 3-14-89

Revised 2-01-01

Revised 4-05-04

Revised 3-14-11