Judgment Search

Downloads

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 4 June 2020

Index by Dioceses of all judgments on this web site, as at 4 June 2020

Memorials

Display:

The grave of the petitioner's maternal grandparents was marked by a dark grey granite memorial in 1985. (The churchyard contains mostly memorials of the yellowish brown sandstone quarried locally.) Subsequently, the cremated remains of the petitioner’s aunt and her husband were buried in the plot and a dark granite cube memorial was installed. The petitioner's father and mother died in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and the petitioner now wished to place dark grey granite kerbs around the grave and add a desk-type memorial within the kerbs. Whilst the Chancellor considered it unfortunate that a dark grey granite memorial had been erected on the grave, a number of other dark grey granite memorials had been introduced into the churchyard, and she considered that a decision to require the use the local sandstone would not be appropriate: "either the memorial for the Petitioner’s parents would not match the existing memorial features at the plot, or the Petitioner would be obliged to replace the headstone and memorial cube to avoid this." She also considered it arguable, given the location of the cube memorial, that the addition of the kerb sets would both improve the appearance of the grave and ease its maintenance. She therefore granted a faculty.

The petitioner applied for permission to erect in the churchyard a memorial to her late husband, the memorial to be of polished black granite with gold lettering, both of which features are outside the churchyards regulations. Alongside the rectangular upright stone and connected to it was to be an upright column extending a little higher than the stone and bearing for almost its full height the image of a cross with a rose entwined around it. From a number of photographs, it was clear to the Chancellor that the churchyard contained many memorials which did not comply with the regulations, including a large number of black granite memorials with gold lettering. In the circumstances the Chancellor determined that it would be unfair to the petitioner to refuse to grant a faculty. Accordingly, he directed that a faculty be issued.

A proposed memorial inscription included the words "Husband, Dad and Pop". The incumbent did not feel happy about agreeing to the use of the word "Pop". An application was made for a faculty. The Diocesan Advisory Committee had no objection. The deceased's daughter claimed that "Pop" was a word in popular use in Cumbria, being a term commonly used to refer to a father or grandfather. The Chancellor decided on balance, and on the facts of the particular case, that it would be pastorally insensitive to refuse the faculty sought, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

This was an application for a confirmatory faculty in respect of a memorial, a vertical slab of black marble, with gilt lettering, mounted on a horizontal plinth, spanning two plots in an area for cremated remains, and the only vertical memorial in that area. The memorial also contained small engraved images of the two persons commemorated. The Chancellor refused to grant a confirmatory faculty for the upright memorial, but authorised its replacement within 12 months by a double-width horizontal memorial of similar design.

The Chancellor authorised for each of two separate churchyards 'bespoke regulations' as to the types of memorial stone which may be permitted.

The cremated remains of the petitioners' mother, who died in 2016, were interred in the grave of her first husband, who died in 1978. The petitioners obtained approval from the acting priest during an interregnum to remove the headstone in memory of their late father, in order to have their mother's name added to the memorial. In the meantime, the mother's second husband of 32 years arranged for a tablet in memory of the petitioners' mother (including her surname after remarriage) to be laid on the grave. The petitioners wished the tablet to be removed. The Chancellor granted a faculty authorising the removal of the tablet subject to the condition that the headstone be amended by agreement between the petitioners and the second husband by adding words along the lines of: 'a widow for 5 years and for 32 years the beloved wife of N'. In the absence of agreement within 3 months, the Chancellor would invite the Archdeacon to petition for a faculty for the removal of both the headstone and the tablet and their replacement by a single memorial bearing wording directed by the Court.

In recent years the Rector and Parochial Church Council had discouraged the use of grey granite for memorials in the churchyard, even though there were already a few such stones in the churchyard. The petitioner had in fact already had a honed grey granite memorial made by a stonemason in a neighouring diocese. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for a further grey granite memorial: "... the approach which the Rector and the Parochial Church Council have taken over recent years of preventing further granite memorials seeks to ensure that for the future memorials in the churchyard will be of a material compatible with the church and the locality. That approach is an entirely appropriate one. This is particularly so given the grade I listing of the church and the appearance of the surrounding area."

The Chancellor granted a faculty for a single collective memorial on which could be recorded up to 120 names of those interred in the area for cremated remains of the churchyard. The Chancellor permitted a large stone of honed granite with three dark granite tablets. He would not normally have permitted such stone for a individual memorial in the churchyard of a sandstone church surrounded by mostly sandstone memorials. But he accepted that sandstone is much less durable than granite. Inscriptions would remain durable for longer on a granite tablet to which inscriptions would be added over a period of many years. Also, the memorial would not be close to other memorials in the churchyard and any adverse effect on the overall appearance of the churchyard would be minimal.

The petitioners wished to replace three family memorials, which were unstable and/or eroded. The Parochial Church Council objected to the replacement of the stones with stones of modern design in the old part of the churchyard. They preferred the original stones to be restored. The Chancellor determined that one of the stones, which was unstable, should be dismantled, cleaned, re-engraved, and re-fixed securely. The other two memorials, where the inscriptions were illegible, should each either be dismantled, cleaned, re-engraved, and re-fixed securely; or alternatively or else replaced with a new memorial to precisely the same design and dimensions as the existing, with same inscription, and of stone similar in colour to the existing.

Petition for Faculty to authorise a memorial comprising a headstone and kerb stones. Headstone authorised, but not the kerb stones.