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Memorials

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In the particular circumstances of this case, the Chancellor found reasons to justify the grant of a faculty authorising a memorial of light grey Cornish granite, which is not covered by the churchyard regulations: the deceased had a connection with Cornwall; there were two Cornish light grey memorials already in the same row as the grave of the deceased, and one in the next row; and the stone was not far removed in the appearance from the majority of local stones in the churchyard.

The Petitioner wished to add the word 'Beloved' to the memorial on his father's grave, on a blank line before the words 'Father, Teacher, Linguist'. The incumbent and one of the churchwardens became parties opponent and there were two parishioners who submitted letters of objection. In 2010 the petitioner had been convicted of murdering his father, and had been sentenced to life imprisonment. Following the murder, the petitioner had buried his father's body under concrete and had made a pretence to the community that his father was still alive. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. He concluded that, given the circumstances, it would be inappropriate to allow the word 'Beloved' to be added to the memorial, and would be likely to give offence to the local community. Furthermore, the word would appear to the public as an expression of the petitioner's continuing denial of the offence for which he had been convicted.

A faculty was granted for a memorial in the form of an urn.

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for a proposed memorial which included kerbs.

The Vicar and Churchwardens sought a faculty to install a memorial in the north aisle of the church, in memory of Mr. David Church. Whilst memorials are not normally allowed in churches, the Chancellor decided to grant a faculty: "Mr Church clearly was someone who contributed something special to the community and I am satisfied that he is appropriately commemorated by a tablet in the church.

The petitioners sought to place a tablet in the churchyard to commemorate two interments in the same plot in 2005 and 2007. Tablets had been allowed for a short period in the 1960s, but since then the Parochial Church Council had adhered to a policy of not allowing further tablets, in order to preserve the open grassed appearance of the churchyard. In 2011, a Faculty had been granted to authorise a memorial wall on which plaques could be placed to commemorate those whose cremated remains have been interred in the churchyard since 2010. The incumbent and Churchwardens objected to a further plaque being placed in the churchyard. Whilst of the view that the policy of the PCC was reasonable and should normally be adhered to, the Chancellor felt there were exceptional circumstances in this case, as the plot in question was the only cremation plot without a tablet in a row of plots where tablets had been placed in the 1960s. Accordingly, a Faculty was granted.

A memorial was installed within a couple of years of the petitioner's father dying in 1946, when the petitioner was a small child. In 2011 the petitioner's cousin and her aunt decided to replace the original memorial with a black polished granite memorial with kerbs and green chippings, and the installation was carried out without faculty. The petitioner sought a faculty to authorise the removal of the second memorial and the erection of a replica of the original. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioner was the heir at law in respect of the first memorial, the person who purchased the memorial (assumed to be the petitioner's mother) having died. He accordingly granted a faculty to the petitioner.

The Vicar General refused to grant a confirmatory faculty for a memorial erected in memory of the petitioner's late wife, who had been a singer/songwriter and author of children's books. The memorial was made of wood and in the shape of a treble clef sign. The reasons given for refusal were: the memorial was taller and much thicker than the maximum dimensions laid down in the churchyards regulations; the wood was already cracking and deteriorating; the regulations required a memorial to be of natural stone; the memorial was of an eccentric shape, which is prohibited by the regulations; the Vicar General considered the memorial inappropriate for the setting. The Vicar General ordered the memorial to be removed within 56 days, and indicated that he would not object to it being replaced with a memorial of natural stone bearing a suitably sized engraving of a treble clef sign.

The incumbent and churchwardens wished to remove from the churchyard a headstone which had been introduced in December 2016 as a memorial to the mother and sister of the party opponent. A memorial had been erected in 1974, when the mother died. In 2016, when the daughter died, the stonemason submitted a memorial application in the standard form for a replacement memorial, which the incumbent approved. In due course the stonemason installed a memorial which was not in accordance with the approved application, and which had a number of features which were outside the churchyards regulations. The Chancellor ordered that the memorial should be removed and, as agreed between the stonemason and the party opponent, replaced by a new memorial at the expense of the stonemason. The stonemason was ordered to pay part of the Diocesan Registry costs and part of the party opponent's solicitors' costs.

The Petitioner requested a memorial designed as an open book, in memory of his brother, to match an existing memorial in memory of his mother. Faculty granted. Chancellor: "… having regard to the exceptional pastoral case made by the petitioner for having a memorial resembling that of the deceased's mother, I would be prepared to authorise one in this instance as an exception to the general rule on the basis that it did genuinely resemble that of the deceased's mother."