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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 remove the existing memorial from her late brother's grave and replace it with a new memorial commemorating both her brother and her mother. The existing memorial fell outside the churchyards regulations, being a polished stone. The proposed new memorial fell outside the regulations, in view of the number of carved images proposed. The original memorial had two images. A third image, a rose, was proposed for the new memorial, next to the name of the petitioner's mother, whose name was Rosalie, though she was known as Rose. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

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.

A woman had died and had been buried in the grave of her husband. She left eight children. One of the daughters and her husband were appointed executors and sole beneficiaries of her will. This had caused a rift in the family, including a dispute as to the validity of the will. The executors applied for a memorial, which the priest in charge approved as within her delegated authority under the churchyards regulations. Not all the siblings had been consulted or had agreed on the proposed inscription. Four of the siblings petitioned that all the siblings should be required to agree a new form of words. The Deputy Chancellor took the view it was doubtful that the Court could make such an order. Instead, he had to consider whether the inscription was appropriate, or whether there were sufficiently good reasons for removal and replacement of the memorial. He decided that the inscription was not inappropriate, and there was therefore no good reason to order the removal of the stone, simply because there had not been consultation with and unanimous agreement between all the siblings.

A memorial was proposed for the grave of a child who had died aged 6. The stone chosen was honed dark grey granite with a stone slab and stone chippings within kerbs. After consultation with the Archdeacon, the Deputy Chancellor decided to grant a faculty for the stone and kerbs, provided that there would be no slab and no chippings. There were already several graves with kerbstones in the churchyard, and the memorial proposed would be in the far corner of the churchyard, where it would only be seen by people visiting that area.

The Deputy Chancellor had three matters to consider in relation to an application for a memorial to mark the grave in which the petitioner's wife's ashes were buried: (a) reference on the memorial to the petitioner, still living; (b) a modified version of the poem “Do not stand at my grave and weep”, and (c) an objection by the Parochial Church Council ("PCC") to the type of stone. As to the first, the petitioner agreed to withdraw the proposal, and to leave space for a further inscription.  The Deputy Chancellor did not approve of the design of the proposed memorial, which included some blue stone, and considered that the wording of the version of the poem was 'over personal and inappropriate', but indicated that he would approve  'a more discrete monument with suitably revised wording'.

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.