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 remains of two parents and their daughter were interred in a grave, the daughter having been the last to die. There was a grey granite memorial to the parents on the grave. The petitioner wished to take down the memorial, crop it and lay it flat on the grave, and then put at the head of the grave a new memorial of Westmorland green slate in memory of the daughter. The Diocesan Advisory Committee ("DAC") and the Parochial Church Council ("PCC") disapproved of the proposal. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. The DAC and the PCC did not support the proposal; the petitioner had not satisfied the Chancellor that the petitioner was the owner of the memorial to the parents; and Westmorland green slate would look out of place in the churchyard.

The petitioner wished to install in the churchyard a vertical slab memorial surmounted by a Celtic wheel style cross, the total height of the memorial being 39 inches. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty, but said that it would be appropriate for the incumbent to approve a stone of conventional shape with the incised design of a Celtic cross.

The petitioner applied for a faculty to authorise the installation of a dark grey, unpolished, upright granite memorial to mark the grave of his late wife. The proposed memorial fell outside the scope of the churchyards regulations for the Diocese of Oxford. The design incorporated two carved hearts. The petitioner wished to have a design similar to the one for his mother's memorial (for which a faculty had been granted) just a few feet away from the petitioner's wife's grave. The Chancellor granted a faculty. A faculty had already been granted to the family for a similar memorial; there was room in the churchyard for only about 12-15 burials, so the chances of further applications for similar memorials was small; and there were pastoral reasons supporting the grant of a faculty.

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial of dark grey granite, polished on the face only, with silvered lettering within an incised design of an open book; the inscription included the words "Beloved Husband, Dad and Grandad". The proposal also included kerb stones and a granite vase bearing the inscription "John" within the kerbs. The Deputy Chancellor determined that the memorial would not be out of place in this particular churchyard, bearing in mind other memorials nearby, and he granted a faculty, subject to the vase not bearing an inscription.

The petitioner wished to place a memorial on her late husband's grave. Many of the details of the proposed design were outside the diocesan churchyards regulations, including: two coloured engravings, one of a robin and the other of a West Highland Terrier (to represent a deceased family pet); dark grey honed granite with a polished obverse side; gold lettering; the use of the words "Dad" and "Grandad" in the inscription; two flower holders in the base. The Parochial Church Council members unanimously did not support the proposal. Bearing in mind the context of the grave, which had near it other memorials with polished faces, the Deputy Chancellor did not approve the memorial design as proposed, but granted a faculty allowing: dark grey honed granite with a polished obverse side; white (rather than gold) lettering; the use of the words "Dad" and "Grandad" in the inscription; one flower holder only; the design of the dog, coloured white, but not the coloured design of the robin.

The petitioner's wife died in February 2018 and her body had been cremated. Her ashes had not been interred in the Garden of Remembrance in the churchyard. The Church had its own set of churchyards regulations, approved by faculty, which prohibited memorials to mark the interment of cremated remains. In April 2018, the petitioner reserved a grave for himself in the churchyard. He now wished to have a tablet in memory of his wife placed either on the grave he had reserved for himself, in anticipation of his wife being buried in the reserved grave after he himself had been buried in it, or on a cremation plot in the Garden of Remembrance, if his wife's ashes were buried there. The Chancellor refused a faculty, as he did not feel that the Petitioner had made a good case for an exception to the church's churchyard regulations. He pointed out, inter alia, that a memorial to the petitioner and his wife could be erected on the reserved grave after the petitioner's body and his wife's ashes had both been buried in it.

A married couple had died, one of them in 1968 and the other in 1983, and a  memorial on their grave bore their names. One of their three children, a daughter, died in 2019 and her husband died in 2020, and their ashes had been interred in the same grave. The petitioner, the eldest child of the daughter, wished to add a second memorial recording the names of her own parents. The daughter's surviving two brothers objected, one becoming a party opponent, who was unhappy about his brother-in-law's ashes having been buried in the grave and his surname being on a memorial on the grave. The Chancellor granted a faculty, authorising the memorial with the compromise wording suggested by the petitioner, which would give both the married name and  maiden name of the daughter, to show the link between her and her parents.

The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise a black granite memorial in the churchyard: " ... given the presence of so many examples of black granite memorials in this churchyard, it would in my judgment be unconscionable in this case to refuse consent for one more such memorial ..."

The petitioner wished to place a memorial to her late brother on the family grave in which his cremated remains had been interred. The proposal was for a wedge shaped polished black granite memorial, 18" by 12", with gold lettering. At the head of the grave was an upright polished black granite memorial with gold lettering, bearing the names of the other members of the family whose remains had been interred in the grave. Two family members objected that the proposed memorial would dominate the grave. There were said to be other black granite memorials with gold lettering in the churchyard. The Chancellor refused to allow a wedge shaped stone, but said that in the circumstances he would permit "a 12” cube in polished black granite and bearing the proposed words in gold lettering".

The grave of the petitioner's maternal grandparents was marked by a dark grey granite memorial in 1985. (The churchyard contains mostly memorials of the yellowish brown sandstone quarried locally.) Subsequently, the cremated remains of the petitioner’s aunt and her husband were buried in the plot and a dark granite cube memorial was installed. The petitioner's father and mother died in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and the petitioner now wished to place dark grey granite kerbs around the grave and add a desk-type memorial within the kerbs. Whilst the Chancellor considered it unfortunate that a dark grey granite memorial had been erected on the grave, a number of other dark grey granite memorials had been introduced into the churchyard, and she considered that a decision to require the use the local sandstone would not be appropriate: "either the memorial for the Petitioner’s parents would not match the existing memorial features at the plot, or the Petitioner would be obliged to replace the headstone and memorial cube to avoid this." She also considered it arguable, given the location of the cube memorial, that the addition of the kerb sets would both improve the appearance of the grave and ease its maintenance. She therefore granted a faculty.