Diocesan guidance on the installation of memorial plaques in churches
The Diocesan Advisory Committee shares the view of the national Church Buildings Council that memorial plaques in churches should be “a special privilege reserved for exceptional cases”. This is to avoid walls becoming cluttered with a distracting, even confusing, number of plaques. There can often be better ways to commemorate devoted members of the Church and community.
A faculty will always be required whenever a memorial plaque is introduced into a church. Supporting material will be required to show that the person being commemorated gave outstanding service to the church and/or the community as a whole. It must be noted that even when a strong case is made the permission may not be granted.
Information required by the DAC
If such a case can be made then please contact the Secretary of the DAC with the following information:
- A written statement which gives information about the person and outlines why the PCC consider the person should have a memorial plaque within the church.
- Full details of the proposed design, including:
- the size of the plaque
- the stone or other material to be used
- the precise text (including all punctuation)
- the lettering/font type.
- A series of photographs showing the proposed position of the new plaque and the surrounding area. Photographs must be taken from different points around the church so that the DAC can consider the visual impact of the plaque in the proposed position.
Alternative forms of Commemoration
The DAC recognises that in many parishes there are people who have served the church and community faithfully over the years and their devoted service may well warrant some form of public recognition. Instead of a memorial plaque it may be appropriate to commemorate their lives in another way. In many parishes this is achieved through the gift of an article of furniture or other appropriate gift. This may include communion plate, altar frontals, vestments, memorial windows or some other such item. In all cases the family of the person to be commemorated must consult the vicar and PCC in order to ascertain what would be an appropriate way of commemorating the person concerned. Please note the DAC strongly discourages the practise of small memorial plaques being put on furniture; commemoration should preferably be integral with the object via an inscription.