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Memorials

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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.

The war memorial in the churchyard was dedicated in 1921 and bore the names of those who gave their lives in the First World War. Subsequently, the names of those who lost their lives in the Second World War were added. The Parochial Church Council now wished to have the memorial refurbished in time for the forthcoming commemoration of 100 years from the end of the First World War. As part of the refurbishment, they wished to have the names of the fallen gilded. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not approve of gilded lettering. The Chancellor granted a faculty allowing the names to be gilded: the DAC's decision was based on an aesthetic evaluation, which the Chancellor felt was overruled by the depth of feeling of the petitioners to make the names prominent; a photograph of the memorial in 1921 shows that the lettering stood out; the aging of the memorial would allow it in due time to be more keeping with the church; the names of the fallen should be clearly legible to the local community.

The petitioner wished to place a memorial on her mother's grave. The parish priest declined to authorise the proposed memorial, as it did not fall within the scope of the Diocesan Guidelines. The design resembled a scroll, between two hand-carved angels, above a plinth resting on a base.  The central “scroll” and the plinth and base were in Rustenburg dark grey granite, and the two angels in a paler stone. The Chancellor considered that carvings of angels in full relief would not be appropriate to the setting, but he would not object to carvings of angels in low relief on the memorial stone. On that basis he granted a faculty for a memorial, subject to the final design being approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee or, in default of such approval, by the court.

Outside the north wall of the church is an area for cremated remains containing a large number of wedge-shaped memorials set on stone slabs 18 inches square. However, some larger bases which had been introduced had adversely affected the appearance of the area. The churchwardens therefore proposed setting plain slab bases on the unused plots in anticipation of wedge-shaped memorials being put on them in the future, in order to minimise the risk of incorrectly sized bases being laid; to keep the area looking uniform and tidy; and to avoid the churchwardens having to take remedial steps, which might give rise to pastoral difficulties. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the proposal, but the Chancellor was satisfied that there was a problem which needed to be addressed, and he accordingly granted a faculty.


The petitioners wished the Chancellor to authorise the setting aside of an area for cremated remains in the churchyard extension and to authorise a variation of the standard churchyards regulations in order to allow the incumbent to permit in future the erection of upright memorials and 'desktop memorials' in the churchyard extension to mark interments of cremated remains. They also asked the Chancellor to grant a confirmatory faculty in respect of upright memorials and 'desktop memorials' already installed to mark interments of cremated remains in the churchyard and churchyard extension during the past 18 years. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made out a satisfactory case for the proposals and granted a faculty accordingly

The petitioner wished to place a memorial on the grave of his late wife. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not approve of the design, a bronze plaque on a rough-hewn, wedge-shaped, local stone, as not befitting the setting. It also considered the inscription (which included a verse by Byron) too lengthy and over-personal. The Chancellor saw no reason to disallow the design of the memorial, but was concerned about the inscription. He determined to grant a faculty, subject to the Petitioner agreeing a suggested alternative inscription set out in the judgment, omitting the proposed verse or including an alternative verse from Holy Scripture or classical Christian poetry or hymnody.

When the petitioner was 16 years old, her mother had died. Five years later she wished to install a memorial over her mother's grave. She approached a local stonemason, chose a design, and the stone was erected at the grave. The petitioner had been unaware that permission was needed to erect the memorial, and the mason did not check that permission had been obtained before erecting the memorial. The memorial was an oval shaped grey slate stone on a rectangular base with an incised trough planter. At one side of the base was an image of a bumble bee and on the other side a Celtic cross. There were objections to the stone. The petitioner applied for a faculty to retain the stone. The two churchwardens became parties opponent. After considering the approaches of other Chancellors in a number of other judgments, the Chancellor decided not to grant a faculty and that the stone should be removed. He indicated that if the petitioner chose a stone within the churchyards regulations, he would permit the designs of the bumble bee and Celtic cross and the same inscription, subject to part of the inscription being in quotation marks (for reasons which will be apparent from the judgment).

The petitioner wished to introduce into the churchyard a polished dark grey granite memorial in the shape of a traditional Gypsy caravan. On the front would be a representation of the double doors of such a caravan with blank windows and the doors flanked on either side by the engraved representation of a lit hurricane lamp. An inscription would be placed on the left-hand door, with the right hand door capable of bearing a further inscription following a later interment in the grave. It was also proposed that on the reverse of the stone there would be a representation of the rear window of a Gypsy caravan, with curtains at the window and a suspended cage containing two songbirds visible through the window. It was also requested that below the window there should be etched a representation of a horse-drawn two-wheeled waggon. It was proposed that the etched designs and inscription should be silvered. The deceased had lived all his life in a traditional Gypsy caravan. The Deputy Chancellor approved the  memorial, with the exception of the representation of a waggon on the reverse side.

The Rector and Churchwardens petitioned to install a heraldic hatchment with the coat of arms of the Collins family of Adlestrop Park in the nave or in the north transept of the church. There were already in the church three hatchments of the Leigh family, who had owned Adlestrop Park from 1553 until it was sold to the Collins family during the last century. A parishioner objected that "Church hatchments were to mark the death of a ‘Lord of the Manor’ ... only a family which has strong ties over several generations should have such a display.”  The Chancellor was satisfied that hatchments, if displaying legally authorised Coats of Arms, can still with sufficient reason be introduced by Faculty. [Note: Jane Austen is believed to have regularly visited Adlestrop.]