Regulations – Monuments & Gravestones

Overview

In order to maintain our cemetery in proper condition, enhance the beauty of the grounds and keep our maintenance costs under control, it is necessary that every person and organization involved strictly adhere to our regulations covering the installation of monuments and headstones of any type in St. Ninian’s Cemetery.

When a headstone starts leaning or is not made of quality material or is not in line with the others in that row, it tends to defeat the efforts expended by many people towards beautifying the cemetery grounds with trees, shrubs and flowers, and with the landscaping and mowing done throughout each summer.

It is vital, therefore, that every monument/headstone/marker must be: (1) Properly installed to minimize movement afterwards; (2) Lined up perfectly with others in the same row; (3) Consist of appropriate long lasting material that will last for several human lifetimes into the future; (4) Blend appropriately with the satisfactory monuments/headstones already installed in our cemetery in a way that does not detract from them.

The purpose of these regulations is to provide a measure of comfort, closure and long term satisfaction to all the families of deceased persons buried in our cemetery, by making consistency, stability, longevity and attractiveness the practice with every monument/headstone installation.

Monument Requirements

Gravel Base

1.1 A minimum of 6″ (preferably 8″) of proper drainage gravel having a minimum diameter of 1/4″ and a maximum diameter of 1 1/2″ is to be used beneath all smaller headstones. For larger headstones, beyond 5,000 cubic inches, the minimum of gravel must be 8″ and preferably up to 12″.

1.2 The gravel base must be prepared by St. Ninian’s Cemetery Care Company and not by the suppliers or installers of the monuments/headstones.

1.3 For every monument/headstone that is to be installed, the respective supplier must contact the Business Office at St. Ninian’s Parish, in writing, at least one week prior to the actual installation date and provide the exact details needed to have an appropriate base prepared. The writing may be by mail, fax or e-mail.

1.4 A fee will be charged for every base preparation at the current rate then in affect. The current rate at this writing is $50.00 each, which includes the labour and the gravel used.

1.5 The St. Ninian’s Parish Office will bill the monument suppliers periodically, usually not less often than monthly, for the bases requested and prepared. Payment for each such invoice is to be made directly to St. Ninian’s Cemetery Care Company.

Floating Concrete Base

2.1 Every monument/headstone installed in St. Ninian’s Cemetery Care Company must have
an appropriate and satisfactory floating concrete base supporting it.

2.2 The concrete that makes up each such base must contain the proper materials to make it
high strength and able, over the very long term, to withstand breakage from the severity of
our normal climatic conditions, caused by temperature changes, and from the weight of the
specific monument placed on it.

2.3 Floating Base Size:

  1.  Smaller than usual Monuments – Width 20″ (minimum), thickness 2″ (minimum);
  2. Normal Size Monuments – Width 24″ (exactly), thickness 2″ (minimum);
  3. Larger than average Monuments – Width 24″ (exactly), thickness 2 ½” (minimum);
  4. All Monuments – Length must extend 4″ beyond the longest part of each end of the respective monument. Width in every case cannot exceed 24″.

Monuments/Headstones – Both Upright and Flat

3.1 All upright monuments/headstones must be securely attached to an appropriate stone base that is flat on the bottom and larger by two or three inches than the bottom of the headstone. This attached base is then placed on top of the floating base.

3.2 Flat monument stones must also be placed on a floating concrete base with at least 6″ of gravel beneath. The related floating concrete base must also have appropriate size and strength, in a manner similar to the upright monuments. These flat monuments must be placed level with the surrounding turf, or be placed sufficiently high above the ground to not damage the mowing equipment.

3.3 All monuments/headstones must be installed exactly in line with the other stones in that row.

3.4 Any monuments/markers that are out of the ordinary and negatively affect the appearance or maintenance costs, especially stones that require grout to hold them together, are not to be placed in the cemetery.

Other Requirements

4.1 Markers made of wood, metal, plastic and the like generally have a negative affect on the appearance of the cemetery grounds and these quickly deteriorate further. We, therefore, request that those be avoided, where possible. This does not apply to the usual markers installed by funeral homes, but those should be removed by the end of the following year. 

4.2 All broken, fallen or out-of-repair monuments/headstones/markers are subject to removal by St. Ninian’s Cemetery Care Co., if our efforts to have the problem corrected by the owners are unsuccessful.

4.3 The vast majority of monuments/headstones that have been installed in our cemetery in recent years are of high quality and have been installed properly. However, for the benefit of families with deceased relatives buried in our cemetery, our workers will be monitoring future installations of monuments/headstones in an attempt to identify any that do not comply with these regulations.

4.4 When problems are identified we will notify the respective monument supplier/installer and request that the problem be corrected promptly. In some cases, we may notify a member of the family involved and point out the problem to him/her.

4.5 In regard to artificial flowers, wreaths, crosses etc., these should, if possible, be placed on the headstones rather than on the graves to allow mowing to proceed unimpeded. In particular, it is important that artificial items of this nature be removed by the respective families within a reasonable period, before excess deterioration occurs and before the winter season commences.

4.6 We emphasize, too, that St. Ninian’s Cemetery Care Company assumes neither liability nor responsibility for loss or damage to any monument/headstone/marker through acts of vandalism, weather events or other deliberate acts. We also accept no responsibility for any missing vases, flowers, wreaths nor for ensuring flowers, wreaths or crosses remain in place or in good condition.

Monuments and Grave Stones Committee

1. The committee will consist of no less than three and no more than four members. The chair will be a member of the board and appointed by the board. The remaining members may consist of other board members or other interested persons depending on the wishes of the board or committee chair.

2. The object of the Monuments and Grave Stones Committee is to provide assurance to the loved ones of those interred in St Ninian Cemetery that a superior aesthetic quality is maintained for all time and that the cemetery remain forever a place of comfort and peace.

3. The Responsibilities of the Monuments Committee shall include:

  • Insure that all new grave stones or monuments are installed in accordance with the requirements specified in the Cemetery’s Monument Policy.
  • Create and oversee a process whereby Parish or Cemetery staff will inspect new installations and report to the Parish office or a committee member any irregularities concerning gravel base preparation, floating base dimensions, installation technique, alignment, material quality or suitability of design.
  • Carry out all other requirements or matters regarding monuments and headstones as directed by the Board.

These revised regulations replace those previously in place, dated June 20, 1996, which covered all of the above matters, except for the gravel base preparation. The previous regulations covering the gravel base preparation were dated April 23, 2003.