South Downs Gateway Churches

Churchyard Benches

Please note:

Currently, there is no space or intention of adding any more benches at Morestead, Owslebury or Twyford Churches.

For Colden Common, please speak to a warden before investigating any further.



There are a considerable number of Bench companies to be found on-line who specialise in manufacturing park and street furniture for churches, schools, and local authorities. A memorial bench is they style and type you should be considering.

Garden benches you may purchase from your local home or DIY store, are not permitted:

Benches should be sturdy, simple wooden or good recycled plastic wooden look alike, memorial type bench. Something suitable for your village churchyards. And preferably ones which also can be fitted by professionals, so as not to invalidate any insurance”.

Sustainability – E.g. recycled plastic or wood from a sustainable source, meeting either FCC or Green Leaf Eco standards or similar.
Quality – Information from the manufacturer to demonstrate: Heavy duty, a good weight. Designed for commercial rather than garden use. Designed for Comfort. Designed and built to last. Low Maintenance. Minimum Guarantee 10 years.
Preassembled – Avoids insurance arguments between manufacturer and installer if a claim is raised.
Engraved rather than a plaque – a theft deterrent. Preferred by the DAC. Words to be approved by PCC.
Fixings – The DAC is not in favour of pouring a slab of concrete into a rural churchyard. Fixings, unless part of the design, are primarily for security reasons. Each parish may think differently as to whether fixings are required. Not having fixings increases ease of hedge and grass cutting, long-term maintenance and staining
Ownership and Maintenance
It is usual for the doner to gift the bench to the church. It may be that a doner wishes to take responsibility/assist either practically or financially with its ongoing maintenance, but
whatever the arrangement, the bench maybe removed at the instruction of the PCC should it be decided that the bench is no longer safe or if it does not comply to regulations of the land.


Benches offer a means of commemorating a particular individual whilst also providing a place to sit in contemplation and reflection. Under the 2015 Faculty Jurisdiction Rules, you can apply to the archdeacon, via you parish PCC, for a List B notice to install a bench.

When making an application you should include:

– Details of the proposed bench

o Link to a catalogue page

o Detail of the material used ie: is it FSC approved timber

o Dimensions – A photograph of the proposed location showing the surrounding area

– A plan or aerial image of the churchyard showing where the bench will be placed (aerial images may be obtained free of charge from Google maps)

– A specification for the ground fixings

– A layout drawing of any inscription to include the actual wording, the lettering font, dimensions and the material of any plaque NB: the DAC prefer inscriptions to be cut into the bench itself

– The PCC resolution agreeing to the installation of the bench What to bear in mind when choosing a bench

– We would recommend avoiding tropical hardwoods and instead choosing a bench made of a sustainably sourced hardwood. Look for FSC approved timber.

– We recommend carving inscriptions into the rail rather than fixing a plaque. Benches are a target for thieves and are a more attractive target if the dedication plaque can be removed. Metal plaques can also react with water run-off plus some type of timber, resulting in staining of the timber.

– Is the method of fixing appropriate for the churchyard? Pouring a slab of concrete for the bench to stand on may not be appropriate in a rural churchyard.

All the information will then be sent to the DAC (a panel governed by the Lord Chancellor) and a decision will be granted or declined by them and their word is final. Please note: there may be a cost associated with this process.


Please speak to a church warden should you require more information.

Location Morestead, Owslebury, Twyford, Colden Common. Benefice Office: Holy Trinity Church Centre, 154 Main Road, Colden Common SO21 1TJ Phone 01962 715172
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