The Memorial Buying process

Purchasing a memorial may seem daunting if you are unfamiliar with the process. You may find it helpful to spend a few minutes reading the following notes so that you feel prepared:

1. Ground settle

Local Authority run cemeteries generally assert that a memorial can be installed after 6 months have elapsed from the time of burial in order to allow for ground settle. The Church of England differs slightly from this, in that they will only accept an application to install a memorial after 6 months have elapsed (unless there are exceptional circumstances).

2. Deciding on the stone type and shape

There are many different types of stone in varying colours and finishes, and Stonewriters will be happy to advise on suitability and those which are permissible.

3. Choosing the inscription and design elements

Local Authority cemeteries allow for a very broad range of designs, wording and motifs, however, it should be noted that Church of England churchyards impose relatively strict guidelines; as an overall guide the wording should be in keeping with Christian beliefs, and should not be an expression of personal grief. The Church approves of inscriptions which show optimism for the afterlife (for example “until we meet again”) or an extract from the bible, and permit only a limited choice of motifs. Again, we can advice as appropriate.

4. Approving the design

Stonewriters will create a design for your consideration which can be modified until it is exactly as you want it.

5. Quotation/costs

At Stonewriters we are very often asked in general terms how much a memorial will cost and can usually guess at a ball-park figure. However our memorials are bespoke and the final price can only be confirmed once the design has been approved. The price will be based on stone type, size, amount of inscription and method of cutting and finishing the inscription.

6. Paying a deposit

Once you are ready to go ahead we will request a deposit from you.

7. Applying for a permit from the Church or Local Authority

Local Authority run cemeteries and Church of England churchyards charge a fee to make an application to install a memorial. Once you have approved the design and agreed the quotation Stonewriters can submit the formal application to the appropriate authority. Stonewriters will submit the application and pay the fee on your behalf.

8. Stone delivery

Timescales vary a great deal regarding stone availability and delivery. Some British stones such as slate, York stone and Portland limestone can take as little as 3-4 weeks, whereas granite memorials are imported and can take anywhere from 8-16 weeks (normally we would expect a granite memorial to take 12 weeks to be delivered to us). We also hold some stone in stock which obviously makes the whole process much quicker.

9. Memorial installation

Once the stone is finished and ready to install we will normally contact you to advice you of the intended date of installation. Stonewriters are members of the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) and are bound by a code of working practice which is in compliance with BS8415.

10. Invoice

The balance is due once the stone has been installed, and Stonewriters will invoice accordingly.