MAB - Campaigns
Freedom of Choice
The bereaved often experience problems when choosing a fitting memorial for their loved one's. Each cemetery has different rules and regulations for memorials that can regulate the permitted height, size, inscriptions and materials used.
Memorial choice can be a very emotional and sensitive issue.. It can be difficult for the bereaved to comprehend why a certain type of memorial that may have been allowed in the past is now banned. This widespread problem often results in additional stress for the bereaved during what is already a very difficult time.
MAB agrees that certain rules such as those governing safety are essential. Cemetery Managers do have to juggle the demands of the bereaved with a duty to protect the public. However restrictions governing sizes, shapes, inscriptions and ornamentation are sometimes unnecessary, restricting the public's freedom to choose.
MAB Campaign Director Michael Dewar adds " It is important to be clear about the rules and regulations which are necessary. If one starts to make exceptions in many cases then there seems to be no point bothering having any regulations at all. It is vital that cemetery managers should send out a clear message so that the bereaved don't feel singled out when a relaxation of the regulations is denied."
Neglected cemeteries often hit the headlines. However there are cemeteries up and down the country, which have managed to reverse their fortunes.
Initiatives such as the Cemetery of the Year Competition encourage cemetery managers to raise standards and reward those that put the hard work into running cemeteries. For information on the Cemetery of the Year Award call the Memorial Awareness Board on 0207 7993 3833.
For advice on managing churchyards and cemeteries in a way that is beneficial to all, contact the Living Churchyard and Cemetery Project on 01203 696 969 or write to the Arthur Rank Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ.
Safety has been the major issue for most burial authorities over the last five years. The number of burial authorities that are working to resolve or prevent safety problems is immensely encouraging.
Burial authorities wishing for information on memorial safety should call NAMM on 01788 542264.
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