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World News

Family win right to write 'dad' on gravestone after church dispute

by Sophie Drew

After a dispute with the church, a family in Newchapel will now be able to write "dad" on a gravestone instead of "father."

The family - who buried their patriarch, Kevin Brooks, last year - were told that the word "dad" was too informal, and that the gravestone was not the correct shape. 

Rev Sister Janet Arnold - the vicar at  St James the Apostle church - and the Parochial Church Council refused to allow the family to lay the gravestone. 

The matter was taken before a Church of England consistory judge, who ruled that the gravestone rules were "guidance and not a straightjacket." 

Dr Anthony Verduyn, deputy chancellor of the diocese of Lichfield and the judge on the case, said: "In this case, the irregular shape of the memorial appears elsewhere and nearby, and it could be harsh to deny the erection of a similar stone. 

"Like considerations apply to its colour lettering and the reference to 'dad.'

"I find that the proposed memorial would not jar visually or in sentimaent in this graveyard."

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