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Memorials

Memorials in Churchyards

There is no legal right to place a memorial in a churchyard.

The Chancellor has given authority to clergy to allow memorials which fall within the guidelines set out in the Churchyard Regulations. For cases falling outside the regulations, there is a simplified faculty procedure for applying to the Chancellor for permission to introduce a memorial into a churchyard.

The members of the National Association of Memorial Masons work to accredited standards, and the Association will provide contact information for memorial masons working within the Diocese.

The Diocese is keen to encourage good quality interesting and imaginative memorials within its churchyards where appropriate. For the contact details of lettercutters and stone carvers producing unique, bespoke memorials and other artwork please get in touch with Nicholas Cannon or Eliza Greenwell.

Anyone wishing to place a memorial in a churchyard should send a completed Memorial Application Form 2021 to the incumbent of the church before placing an order with a stonemason.

Diocesan Churchyard Regulations

The Churchyard Regulations set out the types of memorial which the Chancellor has authorised the clergy to permit. Where the Regulations are silent on any point there is no delegated authority to approve the memorial, and a faculty would need to be sought.

Fees

For full details of the fees payable please refer to the current version of the Parochial Fees Order, currently  The Parochial Fees Table 2023 which you can review here: Parochial Fees Table 2024

Testing of Churchyard Memorials

PCC’s (and Parish Councils in the case of closed churchyards) should note that they have a responsibility for ensuring the safety of their churchyards, including any memorials, and should undertake a regular check to identify any potential problems. If a memorial has been identified as presenting a risk to health or safety, advice should be sought from Nicholas Cannon or Eliza Greenwell as to how this should be dealt with.

Guidance on the safety of memorials is available at Managing the Safety of Burial Ground Memorials

Memorials inside Churches

As a general rule, the erection of memorials inside churches is not normally permitted. Anyone wishing to erect a memorial inside a church must apply for a Faculty, and must satisfy the Chancellor that a departure from the normal rule is justifiable, for example, because the person to be commemorated was a major benefactor of the church, or made some major contribution to the church or parish, or was an important local or national figure, etc. Once installed, the memorial becomes a fixture of the church and therefore owned by the incumbent as part of the building. For guidance on plaques in churches click here.