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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 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.

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial to her son, who had been murdered. The memorial proposed comprised an upright stone five feet tall and bearing an open book motif. The stone was to be set on a foundation and plinth measuring seven feet by three feet by four inches. The Chancellor decided that in the circumstances of this particular case the upright memorial would be acceptable, but not the large plinth. The Chancellor therefore granted a faculty for the upright stone only, including a condition that the petitioner should remove a covered bench which she had placed without permission near the grave.

There was a disagreement between siblings as to the inscription to be included on the memorial for the grave of their parents, who had died within a short time of each other. Two of them wished to have the words 'IN GOD'S KEEPING', followed by dates, then  'FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS'. The third sibling wished the words ‘Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love’ to be added. The first two siblings did not consider the words appropriate and so one of them applied for a faculty to authorise only the words that they had chosen. The Chancellor considered that the additional words expressed immediate personal grief which it was not appropriate to include on a permanent memorial and they might "detract from the messages of love and care which the inscription would otherwise convey". He therefore granted a faculty for the memorial with the wording propsed by the petitioner.

The petitioner wished to place a memorial tablet of Welsh Slate, measuring 8 inches by 11 inches by 2 inches in the churchyard, next to a tree which her father had planted after the Great Storm of 1987. She wished the inscription to bear the names of her mother and Welsh father, with dates of birth and death and the Welsh word 'Tangnefedd', an old Welsh word meaning 'Peace'. Her father's ashes had been buried close to the tree, but the body of her mother, who did not wish to be cremated, had been buried in a nearby woodland cemetery, with no memorial. Owing to the father's connection with Wales, the Deputy Chancellor approved the use of the Welsh word in the inscription. And as regards the mother's body not being buried in the churchyard, the Deputy Chancellor approved the inscription bearing the mother's name, provided that the words 'Margaret buried in Nutfield Cemetery. Gadfan interred at this spot.' were added to the edge of the stone.

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard an unpolished light grey granite memorial on which would be etched an image of an eagle in black enamel. The Chancellor determined that the proposed stone would be acceptable for the churchyard, and he was prepared to allow the image of an eagle, provided that it was etched but not coloured black.

After the death of Mr. John Parnaby, his mother commissioned a memorial and was reimbursed the cost from Mr. Parnaby's estate. The petitioner was Mr. Parnaby's partner and had lived with him for 25 years. She was upset that her connection to Mr. Parnaby was not mentioned in the inscription on the stone and petitioned for permission to amend the inscription to refer to their relationship, but without any consultation with the Parnaby family, owing to a rift. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty, on the basis that, as stated by the Chancellor in the judgment in Re St. Giles Sheldon [2022] ECC Bir 1, " ... the Anglican teaching concerning graves is that they should not be a focus for discord and should not be disturbed unless there is clear reason that should happen".

The petitioner requested permission for a memorial in the form of a small York Stone boulder with a slate plaque on its front face, in memory of her late husband. The memorial was ostensibly outside the churchyard regulations and the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not approve it. After considering the principles to be applied when deciding whether to allow a memorial outside the regulations, the Chancellor decided that this was an appropriate case in which he should grant a faculty.