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Grieving family in row with church after grandmother's £522 headstone's rose design breached cemetery regulations because of its red colour (4 Pics)

A row over a cemetery headstone’s rose motif has blossomed into a full-blown legal battle involving the church court and the deceased’s MP.
The family of Margaret Moore, who died of pancreatic cancer in April, have been banned from erecting a cremation stone bearing a simple rose emblem at St Nicholas’ Church cemetery, Elmdon, Solihull.
The dimensions and wording – “Cherished wife, mom and grandma, sadly missed” – do not breach church regulations.
But the proposed colour of the flower – red and green on grey granite – does, the Diocese of Birmingham’s consistory court has ruled.
Lynne Pearson and her dad Alan Moore 

A hearing on September 5 found the colours fly in the face of regulations drawn up in 2006.
Margaret’s husband Alan, aged 85, and daughter Lynne Pearson have seen red over the judgment. Both acted as carer for 82-year-old Margaret, from Solihull.
They have photographic evidence of two headstones in the cemetery, both featuring red roses, that were erected in 2011 and 2014, long after the new regulations were introduced.
The order of service at Margaret Moore's funeral with a red rose on the front 

“This issue is very close, close to our hearts,” says teaching assistant Lynne, 61. “The rose was mum’s favourite flower.
“At the funeral each member of the family placed a single rose on the coffin. My father is very upset about this.”
In a bid to get the flower ban revoked, Lynne has approached Solihull MP Julian Knight, who is currently in correspondence with the diocese.
St Nicholas Church in Elmdon

Margaret passed away at Marie Curie Hospice, Solihull, on April 15, and her funeral took place at Robin Hood Crematorium, Shirley, on May 11.
The interment service at St Nicholas’, where Margaret’s sister Molly Chambers was laid to rest in 1976, was conducted on June 5.
Alan and Lynne have approached Pollard Memorials Ltd, in Balsall Common, for the £522 memorial, in the shape of a book, and have paid a £272 deposit.
Neither the family nor stonemasons envisaged problems.
But the full might of the consistory court was called in when St Nicholas’ asked for clarification.
Before the hearing, St Nicholas’ vicar Reverend Toby Crowe wrote to Lynn and explained that his hands were tied.
“Please be assured that all my decisions are made in accordance with the Churchyard Regulations, which I have no power to vary,” he said.
The headstone design with the rose 

“I’m afraid that, as a matter of law, I don’t have the authority to grant your request.
“The next step would be to take this to the Diocesan Registrar and then, most likely, the Chancellor of the Diocese, who is a judge.”
The consistory court blocked the headstone, to the family’s dismay.
“I really do feel we are being treated unfairly,” says Lynne. “It almost seems like a bit of power, a case of ‘We make the decisions and you have no power over those decisions’.
“We weren’t invited to attend the hearing and the contents of the latter, state ‘the proceedings were unopposed’.
“My Father and I had no idea this was taking place! There are two clear precedents of red and green roses already in situ, laid after the regulations of 2006.
“I am really at the end of my tether. My father is 85, not a well man, and is grieving the loss of his wife of over 60 years who did not have a peaceful death.
“She died from pancreatic cancer, an illness she had fought for three-and-a-half years.
“This is not a whim. Their favourite flowers are red roses, and they were the theme of Mom’s funeral throughout.”
MP Julian Knight says: “This is clearly a matter for the Church of England. However, my office is always there to represent constituents and has done so to the best of its ability in this case.
"I hope and trust that the two parties will come to a satisfactory solution and that the wishes of Mrs Pearson and her father are taken into account.”

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