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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 20 January 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site.

Memorials

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The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a polished black headstone with gold lettering, in memory of his father. The PCC opposed the proposal, as they were trying to ensure that all new memorials fell within the CHurchyards Regulations. The DAC and Archdeacon were not in favour of the proposal. The Chancellor dismissed the petition and directed that the petitioner should pay the costs.

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial to her son, who had been murdered. The memorial proposed comprised an upright stone five feet tall and bearing an open book motif. The stone was to be set on a foundation and plinth measuring seven feet by three feet by four inches. The Chancellor decided that in the circumstances of this particular case the upright memorial would be acceptable, but not the large plinth. The Chancellor therefore granted a faculty for the upright stone only, including a condition that the petitioner should remove a covered bench which she had placed without permission near the grave.

There was a disagreement between siblings as to the inscription to be included on the memorial for the grave of their parents, who had died within a short time of each other. Two of them wished to have the words 'IN GOD'S KEEPING', followed by dates, then  'FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS'. The third sibling wished the words ‘Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love’ to be added. The first two siblings did not consider the words appropriate and so one of them applied for a faculty to authorise only the words that they had chosen. The Chancellor considered that the additional words expressed immediate personal grief which it was not appropriate to include on a permanent memorial and they might "detract from the messages of love and care which the inscription would otherwise convey". He therefore granted a faculty for the memorial with the wording propsed by the petitioner.

The petitioner wished to place a memorial tablet of Welsh Slate, measuring 8 inches by 11 inches by 2 inches in the churchyard, next to a tree which her father had planted after the Great Storm of 1987. She wished the inscription to bear the names of her mother and Welsh father, with dates of birth and death and the Welsh word 'Tangnefedd', an old Welsh word meaning 'Peace'. Her father's ashes had been buried close to the tree, but the body of her mother, who did not wish to be cremated, had been buried in a nearby woodland cemetery, with no memorial. Owing to the father's connection with Wales, the Deputy Chancellor approved the use of the Welsh word in the inscription. And as regards the mother's body not being buried in the churchyard, the Deputy Chancellor approved the inscription bearing the mother's name, provided that the words 'Margaret buried in Nutfield Cemetery. Gadfan interred at this spot.' were added to the edge of the stone.

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard an unpolished light grey granite memorial on which would be etched an image of an eagle in black enamel. The Chancellor determined that the proposed stone would be acceptable for the churchyard, and he was prepared to allow the image of an eagle, provided that it was etched but not coloured black.

The petitioner requested permission for a memorial in the form of a small York Stone boulder with a slate plaque on its front face, in memory of her late husband. The memorial was ostensibly outside the churchyard regulations and the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not approve it. After considering the principles to be applied when deciding whether to allow a memorial outside the regulations, the Chancellor decided that this was an appropriate case in which he should grant a faculty.

The petitioner sought permission to add kerbs and chippings to a memorial on an existing grave. The reasons given were: (1) the petitioner wished to have the name of his late wife and in due time the names of his brother and himself recorded on the grave, there being insufficient space on the existing memorial; (2) chippings secured by kerbs would eliminate or minimise recent invasive damage from moles; (3) there was a precedent for kerbs and chippings on neighbouring graves. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty, but indicated that he would look favourably on an application for a faculty to replace the existing stone with a larger stone which would have room for additional names.

A proposed memorial comprised an upright stone with a 'cover slab' supported on kerbs. The parish priest did not support the proposal, because (a) no similar type of memorial had been approved for very many years, (b) the memorial did not comply with the diocesan guidelines, and (c) the memorial would inhibit maintenance. The PCC objected on the grounds that (a) the memorial would create maintenance problems and (b) it might set a precedent that others might wish to follow. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty as requested, but said that he would approve the upright memorial element of the proposal.

The parents of a stillborn baby wished to erect on their baby's grave a heart-shaped blue pearl granite stone memorial measuring 27 inches by 21 inches by 3 inches. Stars were to be etched into the edge of the memorial and a heart etched underneath the proposed inscription. There were three other heart-shaped memorials in the churchyard, which had not been authorised by faculty in accordance with the churchyards regulations, but the Chancellor decided that this did not justify him granting a faculty for a further heart-shaped memorial.

The executor of a widow wished to carry out the late widow's wishes by erecting on her grave a memorial similar to that on the grave of the widow's husband in the adjacent grave. The husband's memorial stone was a polished dark grey granite stone with an asymmetrical pointed top, with a carving of a church window on it and with gold lettering. Notwithstanding that the diocesan churchyards regulations did not permit a parish priest to allow a polished stone with gold lettering, the Chancellor, in the special circumstances of this case, allowed a matching memorial.