Friday, October 14, 2016

English Consistory Courts Deny Requested Headstone Inscriptions

In England, Consistory Courts are ecclesiastical courts with jurisdiction over Church of England property and churchyards.  Two recent Consistory Court opinions deny families' requests for inscriptions on tombstones.  Law & Religion UK reports on a September decision from the Diocese of Carlisle refusing to allow the addition of a Masonic symbol to a headstone, concluding it is in violation of Churchyard Regulations. In a second case, The Telegraph reported yesterday on a decision from the Diocese of Ely refusing to allow a sentimental statement from a wife on her husband's headstone. The court said: A memorial stone is not the right place for a statement about how members of the family feel about the deceased nor how they would address him or her were they still alive. Passages of scripture, which have a timeless quality, are to be preferred."