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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 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.

The petitioner wished to erect a memorial on his mother's grave. The proposed memorial was of Portland Stone, 18ins high and with raised kerbs around the grave. The intention was to mirror another memorial to a relative, which was a few yards away. The memorial was outside the Churchyards Regulations in terms of minimum height and the laying of kerbs. The Chancellor saw no objection to the height of the proposed memorial. But he gave permission for kerbs only if they were to be laid flush with the level of the ground.

The petitioners wished to install a plaque, 25cm by 45cm, at the entrance to the church in order to comply with their commitment to acknowledge a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Chancellor felt that the fixing of such a relatively large plaque to one side of the main door of the church would cause serious harm to the building within the meaning of questions 1-3 in Re St. Alkmund Duffield (2013) Fam 146. He determined to dismiss the petition, unless within one month the petitioners applied for an adjournment in order to amend the petition and seek permission for the adoption of either of the smaller alternative plaques suggested by the Chancellor in his judgment.

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty to allow a coloured engraving of Thomas the Tank Engine on a memorial to a three year old child.

In 1953 a faculty had been granted to the petitioner's grandfather to permit the erection of a memorial and the creation of a vault reserving to the petitioner's grandfather and the members of his family the right of burial in the vault. The present petitioner's grandparents and other deceased members of the family had since been buried in the vault. There were six shelves in the vault, of which four had been used. The petitioner wished to reserve the remaining two shelves for the burial of himself and his fiancee. The petitioner's cousin objected to a faculty being granted on the grounds that the reservations would prevent any further members of the family (who might predecease the petitioner and his fiancee) from being placed in the vault, and because she felt that the terms of the orginal faculty limited the right of interment to direct descendants only. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty, but directed that (a) a person who married into the family would be eligible to be buried in the vault; (b) an interment should be treated as including the placing of cremated remains in the vault; and (c) if "space remains on any given shelf for the seemly custody of the cremated remains of more than one person then it is permissible for there to be such remains of more than one person on each shelf in the vault."

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial to her two children, who had died, aged 6 and 9, from Batten disease. When the first child had died, a memorial which was outside the churchyards regulations had been installed without permission. Following the death of the second child, the petitioner sought approval of a new memorial design, with an image of Winnie-the-Pooh at the top and the inscription including phrases from other children's literature - “To infinity and beyond” and “We love you to the moon and back”.  The Chancellor granted a faculty. He considered that the petitioner had made out a compelling case and that there were exceptional pastoral reasons for approving the design, to give comfort and solace to the petitioner and her family.

A memorial comprising a headstone and a ledger stone had been installed in the churchyard without the prior knowledge of the Team Rector, following the interment of a fourth member of the family in the same grave. The family was advised that the Team Rector could not have approved the memorial anyway, as features of the memorial were outside the churchyards regulations. The family applied for a confirmatory faculty. The Chancellor directed that a photograph on the headstone and two emblems of Liverpool Football Club should be removed. Whilst not happy about the nature and extent of the inscriptions, the Chancellor otherwise granted a faculty. He considered that the stonemason had been remiss in not advising the family that they should have applied for a faculty for a memorial outside the regulations and should therefore meet the cost of removal of the photograph and the football club emblems.

The petitioner sought permission to inter the cremated remains of her mother in a grave containing the remains of two members of the family. She also wished to replace the existing worn memorial with a small stone to be laid horizontally on the grave, with a longer inscription in gold lettering and etchings of butterflies. The petitioner had in fact already had the memorial made without seeking permission first. The memorial was made of Corian, which is a man-made material, the primary use of which is for kitchen work tops.The colour was pinkish and flecked with other colours. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the interment of the petitioner's mother's remains, but refused to grant a faculty for the proposed memorial, as too many of its features were outside the Churchyards Regulations, including: the unsuitability of a man-made product and some of the words in the inscription; the colour; the gold lettering; and the overlong inscription (79 words on a stone measuring 1ft 8ins by 2ft).

The Petitioner's grandparents were buried in a grave which has a double width headstone and a double kerb surround. Over time, the remains of the petitioner's late husband, her sister and her parents had been interred in the double grave. The petitioner now wished to carry out some renovation of the grave and place three grey granite tablets within the kerbs, with inscriptions recording the names of those interred since the petitioner's grandparents were interred. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to a condition that there should be consistency in the format of the dates of death.

The petitioner wished to re-locate the headstone at the grave of her son by a small distance sideways, so that it would be aligned with what she believed to be the centre of the head of her son’s grave. The vicar and churchwardens objected on the grounds that (1) realigning the stone would make it stand out amongst other stones in the churchyard with which it would not be in line; (2) headstones were aligned with those in rows behind them “for dignity, and creating an orderly environment”; (3) the petitioner had agreed in writing to the headstone being aligned with the stones behind; and (4) allowing the petition would be seen as creating a precedent. The Chancellor did not consider the first and fourth objections as carrying much weight, but that the second and third objections did. The vicar was entitled to require such uniformity of alignment of monuments as he thought fit, within the parameters of the churchyard regulations, and the petitioner had agreed in writing to the monument being placed where it was, even if there had been a mistake in understanding on her part. The Chancellor accordingly refused to grant a faculty.