Friday, November 30, 2012

Guidelines For Choosing A Headstone

When visiting any stonemasons with regards to purchasing a headstone for a loved one's grave they should be able to talk you through the restrictions and guidelines that apply for the area you wish it to be placed in. However these can change and it is always worth having an idea of the basic guidelines before going to purchase the stone so you know what to expect.

One of the most important steps is to gain permission to have the headstone erected by submitting an application form. This is not something you need to worry about as your stonemasons should take care of this for you, but it is worth mentioning to them just to clarify they will do this.

Over the years the regulations adhered to for memorials has changed, meaning what was permitted 50 years ago may no longer be deemed as suitable now, so don't assume that if the graveyard features a headstone you like it will definitely be allowed now. This is especially true of large memorials. Guidelines state now that a memorial must conform to a certain size which is 107cm tall, 76 cm wide and 102mm in thickness. The stonemasons you choose will be able to inform you of the types of stone that can be used as these must be selected from an approved list, it is also worth asking them about the durability of each type of stone.

Another aspect to consider is the difference between being buried in a churchyard and a cemetery. If being buried in a churchyard it is usual for the headstone to be sympathetic to the church and you have to gain the church's permission to erect a headstone. It is also a requirement that inscriptions are compatible with the christian religion. There are more regulations affecting headstones placed in churchyards, such as the fact they cannot be made from a polished or shiny stone as they must be non-reflective. It is also worth noting that ceramic photo plaques are not permitted on headstones in churchyards, so if this is a particular feature you would like on the headstone then you may wish to consider a cemetery burial. Some of the above regulations still apply within a cemetery however the rules tend to be much more relaxed allowing you to express yourself more with the headstone you choose with regards to size, design and the type of stone used.

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