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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 24 November 2021

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site, as at 24 November 2021

Memorials

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The Petitioner wished to add the word 'Beloved' to the memorial on his father's grave, on a blank line before the words 'Father, Teacher, Linguist'. The incumbent and one of the churchwardens became parties opponent and there were two parishioners who submitted letters of objection. In 2010 the petitioner had been convicted of murdering his father, and had been sentenced to life imprisonment. Following the murder, the petitioner had buried his father's body under concrete and had made a pretence to the community that his father was still alive. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. He concluded that, given the circumstances, it would be inappropriate to allow the word 'Beloved' to be added to the memorial, and would be likely to give offence to the local community. Furthermore, the word would appear to the public as an expression of the petitioner's continuing denial of the offence for which he had been convicted.

A faculty was granted for a memorial in the form of an urn.

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for a proposed memorial which included kerbs.

The Vicar and Churchwardens sought a faculty to install a memorial in the north aisle of the church, in memory of Mr. David Church. Whilst memorials are not normally allowed in churches, the Chancellor decided to grant a faculty: "Mr Church clearly was someone who contributed something special to the community and I am satisfied that he is appropriately commemorated by a tablet in the church.

The petitioners sought to place a tablet in the churchyard to commemorate two interments in the same plot in 2005 and 2007. Tablets had been allowed for a short period in the 1960s, but since then the Parochial Church Council had adhered to a policy of not allowing further tablets, in order to preserve the open grassed appearance of the churchyard. In 2011, a Faculty had been granted to authorise a memorial wall on which plaques could be placed to commemorate those whose cremated remains have been interred in the churchyard since 2010. The incumbent and Churchwardens objected to a further plaque being placed in the churchyard. Whilst of the view that the policy of the PCC was reasonable and should normally be adhered to, the Chancellor felt there were exceptional circumstances in this case, as the plot in question was the only cremation plot without a tablet in a row of plots where tablets had been placed in the 1960s. Accordingly, a Faculty was granted.

Keynsham Town Council sought a faculty  for "The laying flat on its appropriate grave any tombstone or other monument found on inspection to be unstable or dangerous in some other respect . Such permission to cover both past and future works."  The Council had already laid flat 178 memorials without a faculty. Notice of Objection was received from 20 members of the public, of whom some became parties opponent. The Chancellor decided that it was appropriate to grant a confirmatory faculty, but that a separate faculty would be needed for works in the future, and he set out conditions which would apply to future works.

A memorial was installed within a couple of years of the petitioner's father dying in 1946, when the petitioner was a small child. In 2011 the petitioner's cousin and her aunt decided to replace the original memorial with a black polished granite memorial with kerbs and green chippings, and the installation was carried out without faculty. The petitioner sought a faculty to authorise the removal of the second memorial and the erection of a replica of the original. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioner was the heir at law in respect of the first memorial, the person who purchased the memorial (assumed to be the petitioner's mother) having died. He accordingly granted a faculty to the petitioner.

The Vicar General refused to grant a confirmatory faculty for a memorial erected in memory of the petitioner's late wife, who had been a singer/songwriter and author of children's books. The memorial was made of wood and in the shape of a treble clef sign. The reasons given for refusal were: the memorial was taller and much thicker than the maximum dimensions laid down in the churchyards regulations; the wood was already cracking and deteriorating; the regulations required a memorial to be of natural stone; the memorial was of an eccentric shape, which is prohibited by the regulations; the Vicar General considered the memorial inappropriate for the setting. The Vicar General ordered the memorial to be removed within 56 days, and indicated that he would not object to it being replaced with a memorial of natural stone bearing a suitably sized engraving of a treble clef sign.

A married couple had been buried in graves alongside each other. Following the second interment (of the wife), the petitioners wished to move the memorial at the head of the husband's grave to mid-way between the two graves, to add a further inscription in gold letters on the polished black granite memorial and to add side panels bearing coloured rose designs. As there were many instances of memorials outside the churchyards regulations in the churchyard, including examples of memorials erected between adjacent graves, and in view of the fact that the churchyard would shortly need to be closed for further burials, the Chancellor granted a faculty, but excluded permission for the decorative side panels.

The petitioner wished to place on his wife's grave a cast iron memorial, which included, as part of the design, a cluster of five-pointed stars, as his wife's name was Stella. The Parochial Church Council was opposed to this type of memorial on the basis that it would not be in keeping with the stone memorials in the churchyard and it would set a precedent. The Diocesan Advisory Committee and the Church Buildings Council had no objections to the design. The Chancellor considered that the memorial would be fitting and appropriate. There was a tradition of cast iron headstones in the area, though not in this particular churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to a condition that the stars should not be pierced through the memorial, but that the stars and the lettering should be raised. This was for health and safety reasons, lest children might injure themselves on the sharp points of pierced stars.