News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

UK News

Poem banned from Church of England gravestone

by Ruth Sax

A poem has been banned from a Church of England gravestone for not offering a message related to Christianity.

John Chadfield had asked to include a verse by the 19th Century English poet, Lord Byron on the gravestone of his wife, Elaine, who he had been married to for 50 years.

The mother-of-two died at home age 71 in October 2017 and Mr Chadfield had hoped to remember her with a headstone that included a verse from the poem 'So we'll go no more a roving'.

But Judge Stephen Eyre QC, Chancellor of the Diocese of Lichfield, in his role as a judge of the Church's Consistory Court refused the request as the poem is not sufficiently religious.

As well as the poem, Judge Eyre banned Mr Chadfield from using the terms "my much loved wife" and "our two boys" on the gravestone as the words "my" and "our" would render the gravestone "overly personal", according to The Daily Telegraph.

He added that the word "sons" should be used rather than "boys."

Regarding the poem, Judge Eyre said: "The passage from Byron is part of a secular poem which conveys no suggestion of Christian resurrection hope."

He added: "The message conveyed by an inscription must be consistent with Christian belief and must be something more than an expression of loss no matter how deeply felt."

Mr Chadfield told The Daily Telegraph that the matter "has been resolved" with some alterations "which I'm happy with".

The new inscription on the headstone now reads: "Much loved wife of fifty years and mother of two sons. She died at home aged seventy-one meeting her death with courage and is now at peace."

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.