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Memorials

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The petitioner sought to install a memorial of York Stone (and within the diocesan churchyards regulations) into an area of the churchyard known as the Croft. The Rector, PCC and a number of private individuals objected to York Stone, because allegedly the PCC had made a decision in the past that only grey granite stones should be allowed in that particular area. The PCC was unable to produce any evidence of a decision by the PCC to limit stones to grey granite, though most of the stones in the area were of that type. The Chancellor pointed out that a PCC can only have a variation to the diocesan regulations if such variation is approved by the Chancellor of the Diocese. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the memorial of York Stone.

The petitioner wished to erect a memorial on his mother's grave. The proposed memorial was of Portland Stone, 18ins high and with raised kerbs around the grave. The intention was to mirror another memorial to a relative, which was a few yards away. The memorial was outside the Churchyards Regulations in terms of minimum height and the laying of kerbs. The Chancellor saw no objection to the height of the proposed memorial. But he gave permission for kerbs only if they were to be laid flush with the level of the ground.

The petitioners wished to install a plaque, 25cm by 45cm, at the entrance to the church in order to comply with their commitment to acknowledge a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Chancellor felt that the fixing of such a relatively large plaque to one side of the main door of the church would cause serious harm to the building within the meaning of questions 1-3 in Re St. Alkmund Duffield (2013) Fam 146. He determined to dismiss the petition, unless within one month the petitioners applied for an adjournment in order to amend the petition and seek permission for the adoption of either of the smaller alternative plaques suggested by the Chancellor in his judgment.

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty to allow a coloured engraving of Thomas the Tank Engine on a memorial to a three year old child.

The widow of the former priest who died in office applied for permission to have her husband's ashes interred in a granite casket resting on a concrete slab below the base and to the west of the newly re-positioned font in the baptistery at the eastern end of the south aisle of the church and to erect a white marble plaque set within a timber surround above the casket, which would sit flush with the surrounding timber boarded floor. The Chancellor was satisfied that (1) the interment inside the church would not set a precedent, as the PCC would only support interment in church in the case of the death of a priest in office and (2) the priest's service and the affection in which he was held satisfied the test applicable to the introduction of a memorial plaque into the church.

The Archdeacon applied for a faculty to authorise the removal from the churchyard of a "desktop" style memorial marking the interment of cremated remains, as it did not comply with the Churchyard Memorial Rules currently in force. The family of the deceased objected. The Chancellor determined that there were no exceptional reasons why the memorial should remain and accordingly granted a faculty to authorise the removal of the memorial and its replacement with a memorial which complied with the Rules.

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial of dark grey granite, polished on the face only, with silvered lettering within an incised design of an open book; the inscription included the words "Beloved Husband, Dad and Grandad". The proposal also included kerb stones and a granite vase bearing the inscription "John" within the kerbs. The Deputy Chancellor determined that the memorial would not be out of place in this particular churchyard, bearing in mind other memorials nearby, and he granted a faculty, subject to the vase not bearing an inscription.

The petitioner wished to place a memorial to her late brother on the family grave in which his cremated remains had been interred. The proposal was for a wedge shaped polished black granite memorial, 18" by 12", with gold lettering. At the head of the grave was an upright polished black granite memorial with gold lettering, bearing the names of the other members of the family whose remains had been interred in the grave. Two family members objected that the proposed memorial would dominate the grave. There were said to be other black granite memorials with gold lettering in the churchyard. The Chancellor refused to allow a wedge shaped stone, but said that in the circumstances he would permit "a 12” cube in polished black granite and bearing the proposed words in gold lettering".

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.