Appeals

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The Dean of Arches allowed an appeal against the decision of the Chancellor of the Diocese, who refused to grant a confirmatory faculty for a memorial placed inside the church. The Dean pointed out that a faculty for a memorial inside a church should only be granted in exceptional circumstances. He found that in the present case there were exceptional circumstances, as the persons commemorated had been substantial benefactors of the church and the village over many years.

This was an appeal from a decision of the Chancellor of the Diocese of Peterborough, who had refused to grant a faculty for the sale of certain items of church silver. The reason for the proposed sale of the "redundant" silver had been to start a fund to meet the cost of building an extension to the church. The Court of Arches dismissed the appeal for the reasons given by the Chancellor in his judgment: the application to sell the silver was premature; there was no immediate financial crisis; planning permission had not yet been obtained (in fact planning permission had been refused two years earlier and no appeal had been made against the decision); there had not yet been any appeal for funds, and so one could not argue that the proceeds of a sale of the silver were vital to the completion of the project.

This was an appeal by the Victorian Society against the judgment of the Chancellor of Winchester Diocese of 12 March 2015, granting a faculty to replace the existing, Victorian font in the church with a new font made of Purbeck stone. The new font would be smaller than the Victorian font and would be installed on the south eastern, as opposed to south western, side of the nave. The Court decided that the Chancellor had erred and acted unfairly in his purported application of the written representations procedure, and that his judgment on the merits was flawed by several errors of law. Accordingly, the Court ordered that both his judgment and the resulting faculty be set aside.