Guildford Consistory Court: Goodman Ch, November 2000
The petitioners sought a faculty to erect a monument over the grave of their daughter who had died at the age of 24 in a road traffic accident. The petitioners' original proposals were altered after a meeting with the vicar, a group from the DAC and their stonemason. The DAC, the PCC and the vicar approved the compromise proposals with specific reference to the fact that the monument would be located at the bottom of the churchyard away from the church. The proposed monument would be of honed blue pearl granite with a double heart headstone, kerbstones set flush with the ground and gold lettering. A parishioner objected on the grounds that the monument would stand out from others in the churchyard, was made of unsuitable material, would be difficult to maintain and that the double heart headstone was inappropriate. The chancellor, after a visit to the churchyard, stated that the churchyard had a harmony. He expressed most concern about the shape of the headstone, stating that it would have an abrasive and discordant effect and would tend to destroy the harmony of the churchyard. The chancellor emphasised the importance of avoiding the setting of a trend or precedent which might become difficult to control. The chancellor adjourned the petition, granting leave to the petitioners to amend the petition, indicating that he felt unable to grant the faculty on the petition in its present form.
(2001) 6 Ecc LJ 163