C of E to Review Tombs and Memorials

May 10 2021

Image of C of E to Review Tombs and Memorials

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Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems that the Church of England (C of E) might be coming to a new conclusion that Christians are not judged in death by God, but by administrators at a "local level" who will decide whether tombs and memorials to the dead should stay or go.

The Guardian have reported on news that the C of E are encouraging a review throughout their 12,500 churches and 42 cathedrals to find tombs and memorials that contain historical references to colonialism and slavery.

According to the report:

Although decisions will be made at a local level, the guidance stresses that ignoring contested heritage is not an option. Among actions that may be taken are the removal, relocation or alteration of plaques and monuments, and the addition of contextual information. In some cases, there may be no change.

Update - Some interesting comments on Twitter encouraged me to investigate the legal status of monuments in Churches, covered in the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018. Legally speaking, all monuments are the property of their 'owners' who erected the tomb and afterwards their heirs or heirs at law. However, it seems that this legislation does allow the consistory court of a diocese to overrule the consent of the owners in regard to moving, demolition and the alteration of monuments.

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