Anyone wishing to place a headstone, monument or ornamental vase in Brancepeth Churchyard must first make an application to the Priest in Charge. Permission must also be sought before any additional wording is added to an inscription or the position of a headstone is changed.Strict rules are laid down by the Chancellor of the Diocese and the Parochial Church Council regarding the kind of gravestones that can be placed in the churchyard. Permission can only be granted for plain headstones and vases made from sandstone. In all other cases requests will be referred first to the PCC and then, with their approval, to the Chancellor of the Diocese for a faculty. An application form has to be completed and a statutory fee is charged. The form and the current rates can be obtained from the Priest in Charge. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the regulations described above please feel able to contact the Priest in Charge or one of the Churchwardens (see Contacts for details). Thank you for your co-operation.

Detailed Regulations

  • A period of six months must have elapsed from the date of burial before a headstone is erected. (This is to allow time for the settlement of the grave).
  • Headstones should be no more than 1200mm (4 feet) high measured from the surface of the ground, 900mm (3 feet) wide and 150mm (6 inches) thick. They should be no less than 750mm (2 feet 6 inches) high, 500mm (1 foot 8 inches) wide and 75mm (3 inches) thick.
  • A base forming an integral part of the design of the headstone is allowed, provided that it does not project more than 100mm (4 inches) beyond the headstone in any direction, except where a receptacle for flowers is provided.
  • The following materials should not be used; black, red or blue granite, polished granite of any colour, white marble, synthetic stone or plastic. Stones in conflict with the stone of the church or stone that has been mirror polished in a way to cause a reflection should not be used.
  • Monuments should not include chippings (of stone or any other material), glass shades or a curb, chain or railing of any sort. Pictures, portraits, photographs, statuary and bird baths are similarly disallowed.
  • Flower receptacles should be no more than 300 x 200 x 200mm (12 x 8 x 8 inches). If the receptacle is not an integral part of the design of the headstone, it must consist of a removable container sunk completely into the ground.
  • Monuments should be of a simple shape. In particular, (except with permission of a faculty) monuments should not be made in the shape of a cross, heart or book.
  • Inscriptions must be simple and reverent. Literary quotations must be appropriate to the context of a Christian burial ground. Wording may be inscribed or in relief, it may be painted a lighter or darker shade than that of the natural stone but should not be leaded or gilded. No plastic or inserted lettering should be used.
  • No advertisement or trademark should be inscribed on the monument although the name of the mason may be inscribed at the side or on the back in unleaded letters no larger than 13mm (1/2 inch) in height.