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Guidelines for Memorials
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» Guidelines for Memorials

1. These guidelines shall only apply where there are not in existence Churchyard Guidelines for the churchyard in question, approved by the Chancellor under the terms of the Instrument of Authorisation.

2. Subject to paragraph 1, the minister may approve the introduction into the churchyard of any memorial if:


(1) at least six months have passed since the most recent of the deaths being commemorated.

(2) the form of the memorial is:

  • a vertical headstone
  • a vertical headstone on a horizontal stone base
  • a horizontal stone slab
  • a simple timber cross

(3) the memorial is adequately secured into the ground so as to ensure that it is stable

(4) in the case of a stone memorial

  • it is of natural stone (eiother sandstone or limestone, granite not darker than Rustenberg grey, or slate)
  • it does not have a highly polished reflective finish

(5) in the case of a memorial consisting of a vertical headstone, with or without a horizontal base

  • the maximum height of the vertical stone above ground level is between 500mm and 1200mm
  • its width is between 500 mm and 900 mm
  • its thickness is, in the case of a slate memorial, between 40mm and 150mm or, in any other case, between 75mm and 150mm
  • any foundation slab is located so that its upper surface is either flush with the surrounding ground level or at least 300mm beneath it

(6) in the case of a memorial consisting of a vertical headstone on a horizontal slab

  • the base is an integral part of the design
  • where it incorporates a receptacle for a flower vase, the base does not project more than 200mm beyond the face of the vertical stone
  • in any other case it does not project more than 100mm

(7) in the case of a memorial consisting of a horizontal slab

  • it is no more than 600mm wide and 1800mm long
  • its upper surface is flush with the surrounding ground

(8) the inscription on the memorial contains at least

  • the name of the deceased
  • the date of his/her death
  • the date of birth or the age at death
  • any factual information in the inscription is accurate

(9) the memorial contains no advertisement or trademark other than the name or mark of the mason which shall be at the base of the side or rear of the stone and no more than 13mm high

3. Any other memorial may only be introduced into a churchyard with the authority of a faculty.

4. The minister shall not approve a memorial, notwithstanding compliance with paragraph 2 above, if he/she considers that it is

  • likely to be controversial for any reason
  • in any way inappropriate

Issued by the Cancellor for the Diocese of Worcester

1 March 2004

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