The Memorial Buying process

Purchasing a memorial may seem daunting if you are unfamiliar with the process and we hope you will find the following notes helpful:

1. Ground settle

The Church of England will only accept an application to install a memorial after 6 months have elapsed from the date of burial (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, we will be happy to advise on suitability and those which are permissible in Church of England (CoE) churchyards.

3. Choosing the inscription and design elements

CoE churchyards impose relatively strict guidelines regarding permissible designs, wording and motifs on memorials, however, it should be noted that; 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. We can advice as appropriate.

4. Approving the design

We will create a design for your consideration which can be modified until it is exactly as you would like it to be (albeit within the CoE regulations).

5. Quotation/costs

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 a design has been approved. The price will be based on stone type, its size, amount of inscription, method of cutting and finishing the inscription.

6. Paying a deposit

We will accept payment of deposit to be your approval of the design and instruction to proceed.

7. Applying for a memorial permit from the Church

The CoE charge a fee to make an application for permission to install a memorial (or add an inscription to an existing memorial). Stonewriters will submit the application and fee to the Church on your behalf.

8.Ordering stone from the quarry and making the memorial

Only once we have a permit in place from the Church will we order stone from the quarry.  Delivery of stone from quarries to our premises takes several months. We usually require a further 2-3 weeks to then work on the stone and make the inscription after it arrives here.

9. Timescales - Completion and Installation

Once the stone is ready we will install it as soon as possible (we hope you can appreciate it is in our own interests to do so).We are however unable to guarantee timescales or comply with a request to meet an anniversary date as there are too many factors in the process outside of our control (for example the time spent making sure the design is exactly right for you, waiting for responses from quarries and Church authorities, shipping, haulage and adverse weather conditions.... to name but a few) however, a realistic and normal expectation would be 6 or 7 months. Please also note we are unable to arrange for you to be in attendance for the 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 for payment on the date the stone has been installed, and we will send our invoice to this effect.