St Stephen’s Churchyard

The churchyard is no longer used for burials (other than the burial of ashes) and is maintained by Canterbury City Council as a space for quiet enjoyment and a haven for wildlife.   Church members and local residents also help to maintain and develop it as part of our Churchyard Supporters Group. 

At present some parts of the churchyard are mown regularly, like a lawn; others are managed like meadows – allowed to grow up until June and then cut at intervals. This allows a wider range of plants to flower and thus support a wider variety of wildlife.   The east end of the churchyard is a small area of woodland. 

You can download the current mowing plan here.

How to find a grave in the churchyard

Many of the graves are old and the inscriptions no longer visible, but you can download a map with the graves identified by number and an index of the graves with the names of those interred in alphabetical order or by grave number

After the closure of the churchyard a Garden of Remembrance was created near the West Door of the church where ashes could be interred. The sites of individual interments were not marked, but you can download a list of those remembered here.  Unfortunately, some of the information has been lost, so there are gaps in these records. 

More recently a new area for the interment of ashes has been created with individual marker stones for each person or family.  This can be found to the south of the porch. 

Ecology of the churchyard

In 2019 an ecological survey of the churchyard was carried out by Kent and Medway Biological Records Centre. Click here to download the survey.

In 2020 a tree survey was done by Agostina Campodonico and Tomas Teszkiewwicz. The information from this can be downloaded below 

Full list of trees

Churchyard map showing location of all trees

Trail of most interesting trees with map

The church and local communities are working with the Council to improve this amenity. A development strategy has been developed in consultation between the PCC, the Council and the Diocesan authorities, whose permission is still required for changes to the churchyard. 

You can download a copy of the strategy here.