Gravestones and memorials


Coming to terms with the death of someone you loved or for whom you were responsible is inevitably painful and difficult.

And for those who were closest to the person who died, there are also numerous practical tasks to be attended to, many of which are not at all straightforward. 

The business of choosing how the body should be dealt with (by burial or cremation), selecting a place in which to bury the body or the ashes, and in due course deciding what headstone to put up and what it should say – all this, too, can be a source of anxiety and distress. 

But it can be part of that process of coming to terms with it all, of saying goodbye and moving forward.

Speak to your vicar

Everyone within the parish of a church (and everyone whose name is on the electoral roll of the church) has the right to be buried or have their ashes interred in the churchyard, as long as the churchyard is still legally open for burials.

But there are number of issues and considerations for a parish priest to have to make when arranging for gravestones and memorials, so the best thing to do is to speak to your local vicar as soon as you able to.

Useful guidance

The Diocesan Chancellor, Dr Charles Mynors, has issued a very helpful booklet, ‘Churchyard Memorials - A guide for the bereaved’, which contains full details of what a gravestone and monument might look like, what wording it might contain, and the process by which approval may be obtained. The booklet also contains the necessary application form.

The booklets are distributed via, and available from, all reputable stonemasons in Worcestershire and Dudley, who will assist with the choice of stone and the filling-in of the application form.