Church of England bans nicknames on gravestones

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London, July 2 : The Church of England has banned nicknames on the gravestones, it has been revealed.

According to the rule, a person's full name as it appears on their birth certificate must now be engraved.

The decision came after a family appealed to church authorities because they were not permitted to use a shortened version of a dad's name.

Rodney William Lawton Stone's relatives said that he had never liked his full name and would have preferred just 'Rod Stone' to mark his grave.

However, clerical legal chiefs said no exceptions should be made to the rule that full names are required on memorials.

"Plenty of people are known by a shortened name or nickname," The Sun quoted Judge Martin Cardinal, of the Church of England's Consistory Court, as saying.

"Not everyone is happy with their proper names but that of itself does not justify a memorial recording the preferred name alone," he added.

The court, which rules on ecclesiastical matters, was responding to a plea from Stone's son Simon, of Birmingham, that his headstone should read Rod instead of Rodney.

The court said that the reason for requiring full names was to ensure future generations would be able to identify people properly.

The judge accepted Stone was 'not at all fond' of the name Rodney and always wanted to be known as Rod.

He even agreed that an inscription of 'Rodney 'Rod' Stone', suggested by the local vicar, would be acceptable.

However, the judge was adamant: "In my judgment, it would be quite wrong to delete all reference to the full name."

The judge said the rule was there 'to create fairness and consistency of treatment' and that is was necessary to balance past, present and future concerns in churchyards.

However, Tory MP Henry Bellingham said: "The church is out of touch and causing aggro to families who want their loved ones to be remembered by the names they were known by.

"It is daft that it should get bogged down in an issue about whether nicknames can be put on gravestones," he added.

ANI

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