John Richard Jones QC, 58, and his wife Heather of Wrightington have been granted permission to be buried at the churchCredit:John Morris / Alamy Stock Photo They said that the application would allow others to reserve graves, filling up the churchyard, which has just 90 slots left. Mr Jones, 58, was baptised and confirmed at the church and the couple were married in the church in 2000. He also lived in the parish between 1959 and 1995. His grandparents and father are buried in the same churchyard. John Bullimore, Chancellor of the Diocese of Blackburn, said that the QC, who wanted to reserve spots for him and his wife, should not be penalised even if they do not attend the church regularly. Mr Bullimore, a judge in the Church of England’s Consistory Court, said there were “no extra Brownie points” to be gained by frequent church attendance. He said he believed the testimony of the rector, Reverend Canon Andrew Holliday, who said the couple had gone from being “occasional” to weekly attenders since their son was confirmed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. John Richard Jones QC A top barrister has won a dispute with villagers over reserving grave space in a churchyard – despite their claims that he never came to church.John and Heather Jones applied to be buried in St Wilfrid’s churchyard in Standish, near Wigan, despite living five miles away, outside the parish. Locals objected to the reservation, saying that Mr Jones did not attend the church as much as he claimed and that there was a policy against reserving spaces in the churchyard. Many of them said they would like to have reserved spaces themselves, but had not done so because they believed the rules did not allow it. He added that because the couple were on the parish electoral roll, they had the same rights to be buried in the churchyard as those who were resident there, and added that villagers’ belief that the parish had a policy against reserving grave spaces was “mistaken” and that there was “no such policy that I can implement”. Mr Bullimore added that his judgement should be “carefully explained” to the congregation to avoid further misunderstanding.The Consistory Court is a medieval body established by William the Conqueror which makes rulings on church property, including headstones, pews and burial plots.Many Church of England churchyards are now full and are not accepting any more burials. How do I get buried in a churchyard?Parishioners have right of burial in their local churchyard, as long as there is space. This includes people who are on the parish electoral roll at their time of death and anyone who dies within the parish. The Church of England says that this applies whether or not they attend church. A specific grave space can be reserved in advance by applying for a “faculty” from the Consistory Court. Applicants must first discuss their application with a minister, who will give them a plan of the churchyard with the space they wish to reserve indicated. They must then fill out a form called Petition for the Reservation of a Grave Space, and the local priest must give their assent. A fee must be paid to apply for the faculty. This varies from diocese to diocese but is usually around £250 to £300. Reservations usually last for a limited period of time, often around 30 years.