Widow from Witchford has epitaph gravestone for her husband refused by judge

St Andrews Church Witchford

St Andrews Church Witchford - Credit: Archant

A widow from Witchford has been banned from fulfilling her husband’s last wish by a judge.

St Andrews Church Witchford

St Andrews Church Witchford - Credit: Archant

Clara Scott and her children, Tom and Sharna, had applied to the Diocese of Ely to bury their husband and father, Tom Scott, at St Andrew’s Church Yard, Witchford with a gravestone alongside his relatives.

The family was refused permission by Anthony Leonard QC, Chancellor of the Diocese of Ely, in his role as a judge of the Church of England’s Consistory Court.

The request was refused due to it “conflicting with church regulations”.

The proposed epitaph read: “Treasured memories of a loving husband and father Tom Scott. Passed away 9th March 2015. Aged 44 years.

“The days go by without you. And each one is the same. My mind is filled with thoughts of you. In tears I call your name.

“They say that time’s a healer. And that life has to go on. But my life will never be the same. Now the one I loved has gone.

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“Clara, Tom and Sharna. Love you forever XXX.”

Clara was told that the epitaph was not of Christian significance and did not conform to church regulations.”

A spokesman for the Diocese of Ely said: “The Diocese of Ely is bound by the chancellor’s ruling in this matter, which has been made in accordance with the law relating to Church of England churchyards and memorials, in existence since 2004.

“We are working to ensure the regulations governing churchyard memorials are applied correctly and fairly throughout the diocese, and regret any distress caused to the late Mr Scott’s family.”

Tom Scott died last March at the age of 44.