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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 install a kerbed memorial in the churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty (subject to conditions about the height of the kerbs) for the following reasons put forward by the family: the deceased had died young in tragic circumstances and a more substantial memorial was appropriate to mark her grave; the family particularly wished that kerbs would discourage people walking on the grave; there were already 16 kerbed memorials in the churchyard. Also, the parish priest had advised that the family had European heritage where there was a culture for more elaborate memorials and the inclusion of kerbing was part of that cultural heritage.

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 Commonwealth War Graves Commission wished to erect a standard  Commission memorial in the churchyard, in memory of a serviceman murdered in Ireland in 1921. The serviceman's body was buried in the churchyard in 1921, but the precise location of the burial was not known. A faculty application was necessary, because the churchyards regulations only allowed a memorial to be placed where a body had been buried. The Rector and Parochial Church Council were concerned that the installation of a memorial to a soldier who died during the Anglo-Irish war in 1921 might give rise to social 'sensitivities'. The Chancellor decided that it was appropriate to allow a memorial to the deceased soldier, even though the exact location of his buried remains was not known. At the top of the memorial, the words “Buried elsewhere in this churchyard” would be inscribed. The Chancellor also considered that there would be no good reason, in terms of pastoral sensitivities, to disallow the memorial. The location of the soldier's death (Ireland) would not be mentioned on the memorial. Moreover, a memorial commemorates the individual, not the circumstances in which he died.

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 petitioners sought approval for the erection of a memorial to an autistic child who had died in a therapeutic hot tub. The proposed memorial comprised an upright stone, including colours associated with the Autism Society, and kerb stones. The Vicar General granted a faculty: ". The grave is surrounded by a number of others in a distinct section of the graveyard at St. Paul’s Foxdale, many of which already have kerbs . . . I accept that there is a compelling reason for authorising the inclusion of colours referring to the Autism Society."

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.

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a polished black headstone with gold lettering, in memory of his father. The PCC opposed the proposal, as they were trying to ensure that all new memorials fell within the CHurchyards Regulations. The DAC and Archdeacon were not in favour of the proposal. The Chancellor dismissed the petition and directed that the petitioner should pay the costs.

The petitioner sought retrospective permission for the introduction of concrete kerbs and pebbles to the grave of her parents. The kerbs and pebbles had been installed by the family without prior consultation. The Parochial Church Council ('PCC') objected to the kerbs and pebbles, which fell outside the churchyards regulations and would give rise to maintenance problems. Although the petitioner pointed out that there were already a few graves with kerbs in the churchyard, the PCC stated that no kerbs had been installed in the churchyard for at least 60 years, and the PCC did not wish a new precedent to be created by allowing the kerbs and pebbles to remain. The Deputy Chancellor refused to grant a confirmatory faculty and ordered that the kerbs and pebbles should be removed.