Judgment Search


Click on one of the following to view and/or download the relevant document:

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 applied for a confirmatory faculty in respect of a memorial which had already been installed in the churchyard. The memorial had features outside the current Churchyards Regulations. The stone was pale grey granite and the design included a heart, a cherub, roses and a scroll. The background of the stone had a textured finish and the heart and scroll were smooth and reflective. The Deputy Chancellor considered that there was an incongruity between the stone and the other stones in the churchyard surrounding it. For pastoral reasons, however, the Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty, but subject to conditions that all coloured paint should be removed from the memorial and that numerous personal artefacts on the grave should be removed within three months and should not at any time be replaced with others.

The proposal was to place a memorial plaque next to two similar plaques on the west wall inside the church. The plaque was to be in memory of two people: a former curate who had died whilst serving at the church as a result of a road traffic accident, and his son, who had been head chorister at the church and had subsequently joined the army and died on active service in Afghanistan. The Deputy Chancellor determined that the test of exceptionality was satisfied in view of the contributions of the two deceased persons to the life of the church.

A churchwarden of nearly 40 years standing had died in 2004, and at some time after his death a memorial had been erected in the church, without faculty, bearing his family crest and a brief inscription. The stone was of poor quality and had been fixed to the inside stonework of the church with four ordinary screws. Since the memorial's installation the inscription had become difficult to read. A churchwarden, discovering that no faculty had been granted for the memorial, applied for a confirmatory faculty and for permission to have the inscription repainted in black. The Chancellor determined that it was appropriate to have a memorial inside the church to such a long-serving churchwarden, who had also served on the Parish Council. She granted a faculty subject to conditions regarding a better form of mounting of the memorial, the colour of the lettering, amendments to the wording and the method of fixing.

A farmer and his son wished to install in the the churchyard a memorial to the farmer's late wife, comprising a small unpolished stone statue of a sheep on a plinth, inscribed in memory of the deceased and with the additional words “The Lord is my Shepherd”. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty to authorise a proposed memorial which was outside the Churchyards Regulations by reason of size (base width 60ins and stone 48ins high on top of a plinth 14ins high); type of stone and finish (blue polished granite); and inscription (overly long and sentimental message addressed by the family to the deceased). The Chancellor made it clear that the presence of other memorials in the churchyard which were outside the regulations and installed without faculty did not oblige him to authorise further similar memorials.

The Chancellor considered two petitions: (1) a petition by the deceased's partner to replace a memorial installed without authority by the deceased's son, and (2) a petition by the Archdeacon to replace the existing memorial with a memorial containing only the names and dates of birth and death of the deceased. The Chancellor had asked the Archdeacon to petition, so that, in default of an agreement between the parties as to a replacement memorial, the Chancellor was able to grant a faculty for a memorial with no contentious inscription. The Chancellor granted a faculty on petition (1), on the basis of an amended inscription agreed by the parties, and granted a faculty in relation to petition (2) in case the proposed memorial approved under petition (1) was not installed.

The war memorial in the churchyard recorded those who died in the First World War. The petitioners wished to add a plaque to record those who died in the Second World War. The plaque had already been cast, but not installed, prior to the petition being presented to the Chancellor. The Chancellor grnated a faculty, subject to the words “YOUR LIFE! OUR FREEDOM!"  
being removed from the plaque.

A stonemason had placed a memorial in the churchyard without the authority of the incumbent or a faculty. The Rector and PCC objected to the memorial, and the stonemason applied for a faculty for its retention. The memorial was outside the regulations in that the memorial was not flush with the level of the ground and at a slight sloping angle (the rear edge was higher above the ground than the front edge) and the face of the stone was polished. However, the Chancellor granted a faculty on the basis that, " ... the lack of uniformity in the immediately surrounding area means that the extent of that non-compliance is not sufficient to justify ordering the removal of the memorial."

The petitioner's daughter had died in tragic circumstances at the age of 23. The petitioner wished to have her daughter's ashes interred and a four feet high memorial stone erected in a part of the churchyard where the memorial could be seen from the petitioner's home. Although there was a churchyard policy that only flat stones should be allowed to mark cremated remains, the proposed location for the interment and memorial was away from the area where cremated remains were normally interred, and where there were other large memorials. The Chancellor determined that the pastoral reasons given for allowing the proposal were sufficient to justify permission being granted for the erection of the monument.

The petitioner sought to install a memorial of York Stone (and within the diocesan churchyards regulations) into an area of the churchyard known as the Croft. The Rector, PCC and a number of private individuals objected to York Stone, because allegedly the PCC had made a decision in the past that only grey granite stones should be allowed in that particular area. The PCC was unable to produce any evidence of a decision by the PCC to limit stones to grey granite, though most of the stones in the area were of that type. The Chancellor pointed out that a PCC can only have a variation to the diocesan regulations if such variation is approved by the Chancellor of the Diocese. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the memorial of York Stone.