Headstone dilemma

IS there anyone else in the area who has had problems getting a monumental stone erected in their local churchyard? Some three months ago, my sister and I contacted a stone mason to have a memorial befitting our late brother erected in the village where

IS there anyone else in the area who has had problems getting a monumental stone erected in their local churchyard?

Some three months ago, my sister and I contacted a stone mason to have a memorial befitting our late brother erected in the village where we live and grew up.

We chose a stone that was the same type and shape as our late mother and father's next to whom our brother is buried. We chose wording and verse that had meaning to us and had nothing that was unusual or offensive.

Weeks later, we were told by the stone mason that the vicar would not approve the stone because the wording in his opinion was excessive. We were astonished.


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We applied again with different wording and verse, cutting it down. Weeks passed, e-mails to the stone mason went unanswered and again we were refused permission.

It was only after the stone mason wrote to the vicar to say there was nothing wrong with what we were asking for, and that we would be writing to the Diocese of Ely to ask for a faculty, that he wrote back rather quickly.

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The vicar has now, after three months, given permission for our brother's stone to be erected. We were allowed 38 words in all.

Surely this can't be right? Wording and verse is a personal choice that gives the bereaved some comfort when attending their loved one's grave.

Looking around a few graveyards in neighbouring parishes, I have found several gravestones with more wording on them that we have been allowed. All have been put up since 2004. We had been told by the vicar that a new rule had been imposed in 2004 that would not allow anyone to have a stone erected with more that 60 words on it.

My brother Bob's life can never be summed up in the 36 words the vicar finally allowed us to have, I hope that no-one else has to go through the upset and distress we have been caused.

DIANE HUMPHREY

Flaxen Walk

Warboys

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