Atheist Mistakenly Buried in a Christian Churchyard 20 Years Ago to be Exhumed

Rare permission has been granted by the Church of England’s Consistory Court

On January 10, 2000, Gwendolen Patricia Crow, 58, was involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, she died in a hospital shortly after. Ten days later, Crow an atheist was buried in a churchyard sans family knowledge.

Her family was very traumatized about the whole ordeal, which resulted in a friend making arrangements to be laid to rest at St. Nicholas Church in Crawley, England. The funeral was arranged on behalf of the friend of the family, Simon Ebsory, a Christian who only had the best of intentions.

Mrs. Crow’s family explained the exhume request in their plea; “we do not regard this as a suitable place to honor the memory of this woman.” Rare permission has been granted by the Church of England’s Consistory Court to exhume the atheist’s body for cremation .

Mrs. Crow was an avid gardener. In order to honor her memory, her family wants her ashes to be scattered in a garden. While it makes no difference to her now, it’s a beautiful resolution for an atheist and her family can distribute her ashes in a garden instead of leaving her body in a church cemetery.

The Telegraph reported at the time when Mrs. Crow died, she was driving to her to help her pregnant daughter at her bookshop. The day after the accident, her daughter gave birth.

This isn’t the first time a scenario like this has presented itself. Last year, a family was allowed to move their 10-month old girl from a church graveyard who had died 35 ago.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter