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Churches & Cemeteries

There are various and differing rules and regulations for church graveyards and cemeteries and these can change year-on-year.

In all instances your memorial will need to be permitted as will any additional inscription. Churches and cemetery authorities make a charge and a permit is issued which is handed to the mason who can then carry out the work.

This charge is not nationally set so it can range from £30 for an additional inscription to £100s for a large memorial.

Churches are strict – the following is typical and comes from a church in Surrey.

‘Inscriptions on memorials are our last opportunity to pay respect to the dead and the words should be chosen with care.

The Chancellor’s Directive asks that they should be “reverent” and may include quotations from literary sources. They must be incised or in relief and may be in black, gold or white. Plastic or other inlaid lettering is not permitted. All wording must have prior approval …Additions to an inscription may be made at a later date, but these must be separately approved and the lettering, layout and wording must be consistent with the original.”

There are height, width and thickness rules – some places outlaw kerbs and restrict the choice of colours of glass for the infill. As a general rule plastic flowers are frowned upon as are separate vases.

Cemeteries normally are a little more flexible but both church and cemetery will reserve the right to remove a memorial if, through neglect, it becomes a hazard. There is no right of precedence.

Often key to is making it relatively easy for the space to be maintained and the grass cut.


Questions of Ownership

The right to place a memorial lies with the registered keeper of the grave. Often that person is the last interred in a plot that is for two or more people. The right has to be transferred to a living relative or executor who then signs the paperwork.

The transfer has to be witnessed by a solicitor and the cemetery will also make a charge for altering their records. Once this is complete an application for memorial work can be made.

What are the Costs?

We always produce an estimate because the costing of memorial work is not straight forward because there are many components.

It depends on the type required – then the size. Letters are priced individually – raised lead is more then cut and black – then of course there is the permit fee. VAT is payable on memorials but is not charged on the permit.

Memorials also have to be fixed according to the regulations – we belong to trade associations NAMM and BRAMM and this cost is also shown on all estimates.

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    1 Norfolk House
    Wellesley Road
    Surrey, CR0 1LH

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