Church Monuments Society

Last Rites: Funerals and Funeral Monuments



Online event

The Church Monuments Society and the Ecclesiological Society are holding a joint conference on 1 October this year which will explore funerals and funeral monuments in the medieval, early modern, and Victorian periods. Unfortunately, we have recently learned that the rail unions will be holding a strike that day. Consequently, many attendees and some speakers will be unable to travel to or within London.

The two Societies have considered the possibility of postponing the conference, but the logistics of rearranging speakers, venue, catering, and IT are too complex for this to be workable in the near future. We have therefore reluctantly decided to move the conference entirely online. It will now take place on Zoom. All bookings should be made through the Ecclesiological Society’s Eventbrite page at .

Given that the costs of the conference will be considerably lower, we will set a new ticket price of £15. If you had already registered for the conference, we will rebate the difference between this and what you have already paid. This applies to all attendees, both those who had intended to attend in person and those who had intended to join via Zoom. This will be done promptly, but may take a few days to reach your bank account. We are also able to take new registrations. If you were unable to come to London but would like to attend online for what promises to be a fascinating day of lectures, this is your opportunity!

We are very sorry about this turn of events, and hope that it does not affect your enjoyment too much. We are very grateful to all the speakers for their understanding.

If you register, we will send you an updated programme for the day shortly and also the Zoom meeting link a couple of days before. You will also find the revised programme below. The distinguished line-up of speakers are all expert in their fields, and much of what is presented at this conference represents new or recent scholarship. Monuments have already received much attention,  especially since the establishment of the Church Monuments Society in 1979, but new studies and fresh perspectives nonetheless abound. In contrast, the changing form of funerals through the ages has not received the attention that it deserves. This event will thus play an important role in rectifying this lacuna.


The day will be divided into three sessions: broadly medieval, early modern and Victorian with two speakers in each, one on monuments and another on funeral rites.

10.00           Welcome

10.10           Sally Badham: Heraldic Funerals (Sally’s paper will be presented by Moira Gittos)

11.00           Adam White: Funereal Monuments and Monumental Funerals: England in the Early Modern Period

11.50           Break

12.10           Nicholas Orme: Medieval Funerals

13.00           Cameron Newham: “Country Church Monuments” – new book

13.30           Break

14.00           Brian & Moira Gittos: Effigial Commemoration in the Medieval Churchyard.

14.50           Brian Parsons: The Victorian Funeral

15.40           Break

16.00           Roger Bowdler: Funereal Monuments in the 19th century: echoes of interment in the cemetery tomb

16.50           Close


All bookings should be made through the Ecclesiological Society’s Eventbrite page at
The Eventbrite page will be updated with abstracts from the speakers in due course.
We will be making separate arrangements for the short Extraordinary General Meeting of the
Ecclesiological Society, and members will be informed about this separately