After a funeral has been held, family and friends of the departed often wish to find another to remember their loved one. It is natural to want something that offers time and a place to connect with someone they’ve lost. Memorial benches, also called remembrance benches, provide a poignant way of commemorating their life. They give something back to the community in which they lived and offer members of the community an opportunity to rest and reflect.
Many families like the idea of placing a remembrance bench in a public place, but are unsure how to have a memorial bench installed.
They don’t know who to ask about remembrance benches, where to install a memorial bench or how to maintain a memorial bench among many other things.
This guide explains how the process of organising and installing a memorial bench in a chosen location needn’t be a difficult task.
Where can I put a memorial bench?
Most memorial benches are placed in a public place that meant something to person who has died.
Whether their favourite spot was beside the sea, in a local park or at a sports ground, remembrance benches offer a chance to connect with a loved one in a place they enjoyed.
Many memorial benches are placed in church yards and at crematoriums where headstones and plaques are installed.
Where to place a memorial bench is the first thing to decide when choosing to mark a person’s life in this way.
The following places are popular spots in which to install a memorial bench:
- Beauty spots
- Seaside promenades
- Coastal paths
- Canal banks
- Local parks
- National Trust properties
- Botanical gardens
- Shopping precincts
Who gives me permission to install a memorial bench?
Rules and regulations surrounding the installation of memorial benches differ according to the location and area selected for them.
Private land requires the permission of the landowner, while public property may mean applying through official routes such a parish or town council, a churchyard manager, the Canal & River Trust or the National Trust.
If you have decided to place a memorial bench in a public area, such as a local park or town centre, your first port of call should be the local authority.
The details of how to install a remembrance bench or kept on the websites of most.
How do I buy a memorial bench?
Public bodies such as local authorities and town councils set their own rules around the purchase of memorial benches.
Some require you to purchase the bench yourself. Most insist on supplying the bench to maintain health and safety and a level of consistency in their public areas.
They may also provide the commemorative plaque and engraving to adorn it, or ask you to supply the personalised finishing touches.
Private landowners are more likely to allow you to choose the style of your bench and to provide it from a supplier of your choice.
How much does a memorial bench cost?
When supplied by a council, the cost of memorial benches varies according to their size, amount of inscription and intended location. Installation and maintenance charges tend to be a flat rate fee.
It is not unusual for remembrance benches installed on public property to cost between £400 and £2000. Dedicating a city centre bench to a loved one rarely costs less than £1000.
The design and material of the bench selected can create a significant difference in price, while the average installation fee within these prices tends to be around £130 per bench. The cost of a plaque and engraving may raise an additional fee.
Memorial benches purchased privately can cost significantly less and can be purchased new for as little as £100.
What is the best type of memorial bench?
Once permissions are granted and a location is set, the type of memorial bench to install presents another decision to make.
The material, finish and personalisation of a remembrance bench all determine its appearance as a memorial to a lost loved one.
High quality hardwood benches weather better and last longer than soft wood alternatives, although they cost more. Teak doesn’t crack, rot or warp, or need treatment. Oak, pine and mahogany require more maintenance.
Metal benches are durable but can rust. Recycled plastic is becoming an increasingly popular choice with eco-conscious buyers.
Having a memorial bench infused with the ashes of a loved one is also possible.
What inscription is best on a memorial bench?
The purpose of memorial benches is to remember a loved one who has died.
Many people choose to personalise them with the individual’s name, birth date, and the date they passed away.
Some include a short message about their loved one. Others often include a line from one of pertinent poem, play, book or song.
Limited space on memorial bench plaques dictate that an inscription is short and simple.
Some local authorities, and private suppliers of memorial benches, offer an inscription service as part of the overall cost of the package. Others will ask for an inscription plate to be provided.
How do I install a memorial bench?
Memorial benches must meet health and safety standards when installed. This is why most councils and landowners organise the installation of benches themselves. They must be safe for public use.
The material of a remembrance bench and the surface on which it is installed determine the fixtures and level of fastening required to ensure its safety.
Who will look after my memorial bench?
Memorial benches located in public areas are usually maintained by the council. They are responsible for the upkeep and safety of remembrance benches in parks and towns.
Most do not mind if loved ones and the public contribute to cleaning and weeding the area around the bench.
Rest Assured is an authority on all end-of-life matters including the installation of memorial benches and the purchase of funeral plans.
For more information about funeral plans and how we ensure every customer is happy with the funeral plan they buy, please contact Rest Assured Plans on 0800 065 4514