Judgment Search


Click on one of the following to view and/or download the relevant document:

Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2022 judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022



The petitioner applied for a confirmatory faculty for a replacement memorial on her parents' grave. The new memorial included the additional words, 'Honey I missed you', being a line from a song which the petitioner's father used to sing at his wife's grave. The Deputy Chancellor granting a faculty, taking the view that the inscription was "neither offensive nor incompatible with the Christian faith. No disrespect for that faith, the Church, or the churchyard as a place of rest and solace for many was intended. Rather, the inscription was chosen by the applicant as a fitting memorial to her parents."

Mr. Gordon Mills died in 1983 and was buried in the churchyard at Welcombe. A memorial had been erected over his grave, leaving room for a further inscription. Some years before, his marriage had broken down, and following separation from his wife had lived with Mrs. Margaret Walker. Following Mrs. Walker's death in 2000, one of Mr. Mills's daughters and a granddaughter applied for permission to add the following inscription to the memorial: "Also his beloved Margaret (Walker) much loved Mum and Nan 31-12-1915 - 24-2-2000". Four of Mr. Mills's children objected to the inscription. The Chancellor decided that "Mum and Nan" might be misleading, as Mrs. Walker was not the natural mother and grandmother to all Mr. Mills's children and grandchildren. He also thought "loved" and "beloved" was repetitious. He therefore granted a faculty authorising: "Also his beloved companion Margaret Walker 31st December 1915 - 24th February 2000".

The petitioner (a churchwarden) wished to carry out repairs to three box tombs. There was one objector (who did not become a party opponent), who raised a number of issues, but the Chancellor did not regard the objections as grounds for refusing a faculty. A faculty was granted, subject to Historic England not making any representations within 28 days. If any representation were to be made, the matter was to be referred back to the Chancellor for further directions.

The petitioner wished to install a kerbed memorial in the churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty (subject to conditions about the height of the kerbs) for the following reasons put forward by the family: the deceased had died young in tragic circumstances and a more substantial memorial was appropriate to mark her grave; the family particularly wished that kerbs would discourage people walking on the grave; there were already 16 kerbed memorials in the churchyard. Also, the parish priest had advised that the family had European heritage where there was a culture for more elaborate memorials and the inclusion of kerbing was part of that cultural heritage.

The petitioner wished to introduce into the churchyard a memorial to her late husband. The proposed memorial included kerbs laid flush with the ground. The Diocesan Advisory Committee felt unable to recommend the proposal, as the churchyard regulations had for three decades not allowed the introduction of kerbs, and the Church Council did not support the proposal. Although the petitioner argued that kerbs laid flush with the ground would not impede mowing, the Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Mowing was not his only concern: "I am concerned that kerbs, even flush with the ground, would have the effect of creating a series of individual memorial plots, boundaried and set apart, grave by grave, from the rest of the churchyard. This would conflict with the sense that each grave and its memorial was contributing to the overall peace and tranquillity of the whole churchyard ..."

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission wished to erect a standard  Commission memorial in the churchyard, in memory of a serviceman murdered in Ireland in 1921. The serviceman's body was buried in the churchyard in 1921, but the precise location of the burial was not known. A faculty application was necessary, because the churchyards regulations only allowed a memorial to be placed where a body had been buried. The Rector and Parochial Church Council were concerned that the installation of a memorial to a soldier who died during the Anglo-Irish war in 1921 might give rise to social 'sensitivities'. The Chancellor decided that it was appropriate to allow a memorial to the deceased soldier, even though the exact location of his buried remains was not known. At the top of the memorial, the words “Buried elsewhere in this churchyard” would be inscribed. The Chancellor also considered that there would be no good reason, in terms of pastoral sensitivities, to disallow the memorial. The location of the soldier's death (Ireland) would not be mentioned on the memorial. Moreover, a memorial commemorates the individual, not the circumstances in which he died.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for a memorial to be placed inside the church in memory of Dick Reid. The requirement of exceptionality was satisfied as the deceased had been an internationally renowned sculptor and letter carver.

The Chancellor refused to allow a design of the Masonic square and compasses to be added to a memorial to the Petitioner's late husband, who had been a Freemason for forty years, latterly holding high office in Freemasonry.

The Vicar General & Chancellor granted a faculty for a memorial with a curved top and eccentric scalloped sides. Although the design was outside the churchyards regulations, he considered that the design was both tasteful and appropriate.

The petitioners sought approval for the erection of a memorial to an autistic child who had died in a therapeutic hot tub. The proposed memorial comprised an upright stone, including colours associated with the Autism Society, and kerb stones. The Vicar General granted a faculty: ". The grave is surrounded by a number of others in a distinct section of the graveyard at St. Paul’s Foxdale, many of which already have kerbs . . . I accept that there is a compelling reason for authorising the inclusion of colours referring to the Autism Society."