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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, April 28, 2006
    Memorials By Artists
    A fascinating Church Times article about an organisation called Memorials By Artists prompted me to write to them requesting a copy of their book, Memorials by Artists for Young People, Children and Babies. Partly because the feature article and their website showed that their work was one of great creative beauty; partly out of curiosity to see whether Benjamin's stone was included.

    It was, and in a covering letter Harriet Frazer was kind enough to say that the poem to Benjamin which I originally scribbled on an In Sympathy card to his parents, now etched on the back of Benjamin's stone, "has always moved me particularly". What has moved me, in reading the book right through today, is the quality and integrity of the work of this organisation who connect bereaved families to skilled lettercutters and enable them to collaborate together to create works of beauty and, of course, deep meaning to those most closely involved.

    I especially love the way that their artists keenly involve young siblings in the creative process - encouraging their ideas and even offering them a chizel and inviting them to make their own mark on the stone. The book is beautifully produced and is a mine of interest for a wanderer-around-churchyards like me. When the fourth edition is published later this year I'll be buying the companion book, The Memorials by Artists guide. Wonderful stuff.