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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 20 January 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site.

Memorials

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The petition proposed the addition of three names said to have been omitted from the First World War Memorial in Langtoft. In his judgment, the Chancellor set out the criteria he would apply in this or any future similar application: (1) if the name was recorded on a war memorial elsewhere, the presumption would be that the family had chosen to have the name recorded in the other place; (2) if the name was not recorded elsewhere, the Chancellor would have to decide, on a balance of probabilimemties, if the omission was a mistake. In the present case, two of the names were recorded elsewhere. The third name was the same as one already on the war memorial, but alleged to be a different person. The Chancellor was not satisfied that the the third name related to a different person from the one whose name was already on the memorial. He therefore decided not to grant a faculty authorising any of the names to be added to the memorial.

The petitioner applied for approval of a memorial in memory of her late husband. The proposed memorial was to be 6 feet wide and 4 feet 6 inches high on a 7 feet wide base, so that it would cover not only the head of the grave of the deceased, but also the head of the adjacent grave reserved for the petitioner. The headstone would take the form of two large interlocking heart shapes, each of which would be flanked by two smaller heart shapes. The stone would bear gold lettering and images of a horse's head and a riverbank scene, to reflect the life of the deceased, a leading member of the local traveller community. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for the memorial as proposed, because its size was considerably larger than the churchyards regulations would normally allow, and it would dominate the area of the churchyard where it would be erected. He permitted a smaller memorial in the style requested, provided that it did not exceed 4 feet 4 inches in height and 4 feet in width.

The petitioner applied for a confirmatory faculty for a replacement memorial on her parents' grave. The new memorial included the additional words, 'Honey I missed you', being a line from a song which the petitioner's father used to sing at his wife's grave. The Deputy Chancellor granting a faculty, taking the view that the inscription was "neither offensive nor incompatible with the Christian faith. No disrespect for that faith, the Church, or the churchyard as a place of rest and solace for many was intended. Rather, the inscription was chosen by the applicant as a fitting memorial to her parents."

Mr. Gordon Mills died in 1983 and was buried in the churchyard at Welcombe. A memorial had been erected over his grave, leaving room for a further inscription. Some years before, his marriage had broken down, and following separation from his wife had lived with Mrs. Margaret Walker. Following Mrs. Walker's death in 2000, one of Mr. Mills's daughters and a granddaughter applied for permission to add the following inscription to the memorial: "Also his beloved Margaret (Walker) much loved Mum and Nan 31-12-1915 - 24-2-2000". Four of Mr. Mills's children objected to the inscription. The Chancellor decided that "Mum and Nan" might be misleading, as Mrs. Walker was not the natural mother and grandmother to all Mr. Mills's children and grandchildren. He also thought "loved" and "beloved" was repetitious. He therefore granted a faculty authorising: "Also his beloved companion Margaret Walker 31st December 1915 - 24th February 2000".

The petitioner (a churchwarden) wished to carry out repairs to three box tombs. There was one objector (who did not become a party opponent), who raised a number of issues, but the Chancellor did not regard the objections as grounds for refusing a faculty. A faculty was granted, subject to Historic England not making any representations within 28 days. If any representation were to be made, the matter was to be referred back to the Chancellor for further directions.

The petitioner wished to introduce into the churchyard a memorial to her late husband. The proposed memorial included kerbs laid flush with the ground. The Diocesan Advisory Committee felt unable to recommend the proposal, as the churchyard regulations had for three decades not allowed the introduction of kerbs, and the Church Council did not support the proposal. Although the petitioner argued that kerbs laid flush with the ground would not impede mowing, the Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Mowing was not his only concern: "I am concerned that kerbs, even flush with the ground, would have the effect of creating a series of individual memorial plots, boundaried and set apart, grave by grave, from the rest of the churchyard. This would conflict with the sense that each grave and its memorial was contributing to the overall peace and tranquillity of the whole churchyard ..."

The Chancellor granted a faculty for a memorial to be placed inside the church in memory of Dick Reid. The requirement of exceptionality was satisfied as the deceased had been an internationally renowned sculptor and letter carver.

The Chancellor refused to allow a design of the Masonic square and compasses to be added to a memorial to the Petitioner's late husband, who had been a Freemason for forty years, latterly holding high office in Freemasonry.

The Vicar General & Chancellor granted a faculty for a memorial with a curved top and eccentric scalloped sides. Although the design was outside the churchyards regulations, he considered that the design was both tasteful and appropriate.

The petitioner wished to replace a memorial stone commemorating one parent with a new black granite stone commemorating both parents, the second parent having died recently. The parish priest and Parochial Church Council objected, as the specification was outside the diocesan churchyards regulations, notwithstanding that there were several black granite memorials already in the churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty on the basis that it would be unreasonable and discriminatory towards the family concerned if a faculty were refused when there were already so many black granite memorials in the churchyard.