Unholy row over the word 'Nani' on grandmother's gravestone in Eccleston

In life Brenda Carter was 'Nani' to all her family.

By Brian Ellis
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:36 pm
Brenda's husband Jack at the graveside with daughters Jane Harrison and Joanne Brooks and grandsons Jack and Alex.
Brenda's husband Jack at the graveside with daughters Jane Harrison and Joanne Brooks and grandsons Jack and Alex.

But in death she's at the centre of an unholy row amid claims the grandmother of five is banned from having the word on her gravestone, by decree of the Vicar.

Fr Andrew Brown is said to have refused to allow grieving relatives to erect a headstone in the churchyard of St Mary's in Eccleston near Chorley if it bears the four-letter term of endearment.

"It's unbelievable," said Brenda's daughter Jane Harrison. "What's wrong with the word Nani? That's who she was to us, not grandma or grandmother.

'Nani' Brenda Carter died on Boxing Day last year.

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Eccleston 'Nani' gravestone row branded 'utterly ridiculous' and 'heartbreaking'...

'Nani' Brenda died on Boxing Day last year at the age of 85.

She was a well-known figure around Eccleston and was a member of the Women's Institute, the village's bowling club and the local Methodist Circle. Twice she was invited to garden parties at Buckingham Palace because of her work in the community.

"Everyone knew her," said grandson Jack Harrison. "She was really popular and would do anything for anyone.

The word 'nanny' appears on other gravestones in the churchyard.

"To us grandkids she was the best person in the world. What she did for people in Eccleston was amazing, yet the church is treating her like this.

"The really annoying thing is there are other gravestones in that churchyard with Nana, Nanni or Nanny on and they have been allowed. What's the difference?"

Mum Jane says she has appealed to the area Archdeacon, but has been told the decision is down to the Vicar.

"I've even written to our MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle to see if he can do anything," she explained. "And he has written to the church.

'Nana' has been allowed in the past too.

"We've been told another family are also appealing because they've been told they can't have the word 'Nana' on a gravestone.

"It's very upsetting for all of us. Our family paid over £1,000 for that graveyard plot and yet we can't erect a stone on it which says "devoted Nani of Jack, Joe, Matthew, Alex and Katie."

Fr Brown told the Post: "I have not had any direct contact with the family whatsoever.

"I'm told they have had a conversation with the Diocese, so I need to find out the full nature of that conversation before I comment. I'm in the dark to some extent."