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Memorial regulations for churchyards and cemeteries

Over the years memorial regulations have changed, so what already exists in a churchyard, might not still be permitted.


Home » Funeral Services » Stone Memorials » Churchyard Regulations
Memorial masonry

From the simply cut to the truly unique, we offer a beautiful and extensive range of elegant and distinctive memorials. 

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Memorial renovations

Our comprehensive range of cleaning, repair and renovation services will restore your loved one's memorial to its former glory.

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Memorial engraving

There are many options to consider when deciding on memorial engraving, but with a no-rush approach, it’s possible to create a truly unique memorial for your loved one.

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Memorial regulations

Bennetts will apply for the permission, on your behalf, to erect a memorial on a grave or to add an additional inscription on an existing memorial.   It is important that rules and regulations are adhered to as there are restrictions which apply.

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Garden memorials

For those who like to keep their loved ones ashes at home, we consider stacked slate urns a wonderful idea especially if your loved one enjoyed their gardens, nature and the great outdoors.

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Assured NAMM member

Our skilled stone masons are members of NAMM, The National  Association of Monumental Masons, so you can rest assured that you have a highly qualified, memorial mason at your disposal.

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Assured BRAMM member

Our skilled stone masons are members of BRAMM, The British Register of Memorial Masons, improving the standards of construction, installation, and safety within UK cemeteries and churchyards

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When choosing a memorial for your loved one it is important to be aware of certain memorial regulations and guidelines that exist.  If the rules are ignored, the cemetery or churchyard will refuse your memorial or headstone.

Bennetts will apply for the permission to erect a memorial on a grave or to add an additional inscription on an existing memorial.   It is imperative that this is applied for and approved before work commences on a memorial.  A cemetery or churchyard, can and will refuse any headstone, gravestone, or memorial plaque that does not meet their particular requirements.  Each local authority, private cemetery, and churchyard will have its own regulations, please discuss with us if you are not aware of the restrictions. You can find out more here.

Below is a brief guide to churchyard and cemetery regulations


A brief guide to churchyard regulations

The following are just some of the memorial regulations laid down by the Church:

  • Full names must be used
  • Inscriptions must be in keeping with the Christian religion
  • Stones must be non-reflective (i.e.they must not be polished or shiny)
  • Kerb-sets are very seldom allowed but can be requested
  • Only one flower vase fitted into the base of the headstone
  • Ceramic photo plaques are not permitted and designs may not be coloured
  • The most popular memorial, the Lawn Memorial dimensions overall should be 2’6″ high, 1’9″ wide, and 3″ thick

These rules can seem restrictive, but certain churchyard regulations can sometimes be overturned through an application. Remember, since rules have changed over the years, there may be, for example, polished memorials in your local churchyard, but permission for them would not be granted today.  The Church retains the right to remove any memorials which breach their rules.

A brief guide to cemetery regulations

Cemetery memorial regulations vary, but generally, they allow more freedom of expression in design, size, type, and colour of stone than those permitted in a churchyard. Many forms of artwork, wording and the use of photo plaques are allowed to create a unique memorial.

Our Funeral Directors will listen carefully to your wishes and offer you clear advice. We will make necessary permit applications on your behalf. Rest assured that your finished memorial will be permitted, whilst also reflecting and capturing the unique qualities of your loved one.

Call us on 01277 210104, we are here to help.