New grave plots for Muslims at Preston Cemetery
A new area of land at a cemetery in Preston will increase the lifespan of the grave spaces for the Muslim community up to about 20 years.
If the area of land at Preston Cemetery is opened up it will allow Muslims the same space for their dead as other faith groups.
Council documents to be presented to Cabinet on Wednesday state: “To ensure that the cemetery is made available for all faith groups for an equal length of time, approximately 20 years, land needs to be allocated proportionately to meet this need.
“Specifically there is a need for a new burial area for the Muslim community, as their existing burial area has approximately three to four years of new grave spaces.
“A new area of land will ensure that the Muslim community have a total of approximately 20 years of new grave space, which will bring it into line with the other sectors of the community.”
The cemetery, belonging to Preston City Council, operates a denominational split of its burial grounds, with areas for those who wish to be buried in Church of England, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and Non Conformists. The cemetery also has a separate burial area for babies.
At the meeting at Town Hall on Wednesday members of the Cabinet will be asked to approve a total of £171,655 to go towards the scheme. It will be fully funded through the Cemetery and Crematorium Reserve.
Chairman and secretary of Preston Muslim Burial Society Iqbal Adam said: “There wasn’t enough burial space left and as Muslims we can’t have cremations.
“We’ve only about 100 spaces leftover to bury people and people are coming of age and getting older.
“There’s a big plot of land off Miller Road. It’s really good news for the Muslim community because it’s a short distance from where a lot of people live.
“A lot of people go and pray for their loved ones and its very important to give respect to people who pass away. As Muslims we shouldn’t be destroying any part of the body in cremation when someone dies.”
Council documents continue: “The designs for the new burial area have been produced in consultation with representatives from the Preston Muslim Society.
“The designs maximise the number of graves spaces, as well as being in the correct alignment in respect of Muslim burial practices.”