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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 wished to place in the churchyard a horizontal memorial tablet measuring 18in. by 18 in. to mark the interment of her late husband's cremated remains. Originally, her proposal requested the inclusion of two flower holders in the tablet, and an additional hole for a 'solar stick'. She also wished to have an inscription 15 lines long. The incumbent and Parochial Church Council ("PCC") objected to the proposal. It was customary to allow only one flower holder, no solar sticks, and an inscription giving dates and a brief biblical quote or words of comfort. Following correspondence, the petitioner amended her proposal to include only one flower holder, no solar stick and an inscription 10 lines long. To accommodate and support the PCC's policy, the Chancellor settled an inscription five lines long, which he would find acceptable. He allowed the petitioner 28 days in which to decide whether to accept the inscription, in which case a faculty would be granted. If the petitioner did not accept the inscription, the petition would be dismissed.

The petitioner wished to erect on the grave of his late wife a red granite memorial with a polished face and gold lettering. The priest-in-charge declined to approve the memorial on the grounds that gold lettering was not permissible and that the size and colour of the memorial would not be in keeping with the other memorials in the churchyard. The Chancellor determined that it would be unreasonable to refuse a faculty for the memorial, as the use of gold lettering was widespread in the churchyard; also, there was a large number of polished granite stones which, though mostly black, did include a number of red granite stones, including  a red granite stone on the grave next to the grave of the petitioner's wife.

Two white alabaster memorials to parishioners who had died serving in the First and Second World Wars had been fixed to the east wall of the church porch. Recent research by a parishioner had suggested that there were spelling mistakes in three of the names recorded. The Parish Council applied for permission to have the alleged mistakes corrected. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Whilst accepting that a letter in the first name might have been incorrect, there was no evidence that an initial in the second name was a mistake or a choice, and there was no basis for considering that the way of spelling the third name inscribed was other than the choice or direction of the relatives: "There is no need to make the suggested alterations, no widespread or well-supported desire to do so, and no known way in which they could be made satisfactorily." Moreover, full details of those commemorated were available in folders in the church. 

The Chancellor refused to grant a confirmatory faculty for a memorial introduced into the churchyard without authority, the memorial being in contravention of the Churchyard Rules

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission wished to replace a memorial to an airman from the local airfield, who with his fellow crewmen had died during the Second World War. The crew had all been buried together in the churchyard. The reason for wanting to change the memorial was that the original bore an inscribed cross, whilst the deceased was found to be of Jewish descent. The Chancellor decided that it would not normally be appropriate to allow in a churchyard a memorial bearing a Star of David, or a symbol of any other religion inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church of England, but he determined that there were exceptional circumstances in the present case to justify permitting a Star of David to be inscribed on the proposed replacement memorial.

The application was for a memorial to those who had died in the Second World War. This memorial would be placed beneath the existing memorial to those who had died in the First World War. For the reasons set out in the judgment, the Chancellor was not satisfied with the details of the proposals and he adjourned the matter, requesting that revised proposals should be submitted.

The petitioners wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial to their late mother. The memorial proposed was to be a bird bath, carved from grey, unpolished Finland granite, containing the name, and dates of birth and death of the deceased, and inscribed with the words: “The goat’s milk is sour.” (These words had been used by the family for over 30 years in times of stress, to relieve tension, and no-one had objected to them.) But the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the proposed design, on the basis that it might form a precedent. However, the Parochial Church Council approved the proposal, as the bird bath would be placed next to trees, where mourners had from time to time placed bird feeders. The deceased had been a great supporter of wildlife in general and birds in particular. The Deputy Chancellor decided in the particlar circumstances that it was appropriate to grant a faculty.

Faculty refused for memorial inscription including the words “Finally fell off his perch” and “It’s only rock and roll”.

The petitioner wished to have erected on her husband's grave a headstone including the design of three stylised heraldic lions, as her husband had a tattoo of three lions. The Chancellor was concerned that the design of the lions was similar to part of the Royal Arms of England, and to the three lions design licensed by the Crown to be used by the England football and cricket teams. In the absence of permission from the Crown to use the design, the Chancellor refused to permit the design on the headstone. However, he did permit the inscription on the headstone to include the deceased's nickname and the words 'Husband, Dad and Grandad'.

Since 2017, human remains had been removed from the burial ground of St. James' Gardens, Euston, to allow for construction of part of the HS2 terminus station. The remains had been reinterred in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey. It was now proposed that a substantial memorial, with associated landscaping, should be constructed next to the interments at Brookwood Cemetery, in memory of all those whose human remains had been moved there from St. James' Gardens, Euston. The Chancellor was satisfied that the design of the memorial, the landscaping and the proposed inscriptions were all appropriate and he granted a faculty.