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Churchyards

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The Vicar and a churchwarden applied for a faculty to authorise retrospectively the laying flat in the churchyard of 51 memorials which had been found to be unstable in 2015 and also to authorise the laying flat of memorial stones deemed to be unstable by a future inspection. There had been much disquiet locally about the laying flat of so many memorials in 2015, and the Chancellor was concerned that there had not been adequate notification to families who might have been contacted prior to the laying down of the memorials. However, he granted a faculty, subject to a condition that in future no memorial should be laid flat without the express approval of the Archdeacon.

Staff of the Leeds City Council instructed its workmen to erect a fence along the perimeter of the closed churchyard (for which the Council was responsible), to prevent a recurrence of recent anti-social behaviour, involving youths standing on the churchyard wall and throwing stones at traffic. The Council did so without first seeking a faculty or planning consent from its own planning department, even though a meeting had been arranged for interested parties to discuss the best fencing solution. The Chancellor took "a dim view of the petitioner’s conduct in this matter, notwithstanding that it may have originally been animated by an understandable sense of civic responsibility ... the execution of that good intention was characterised by ineptitude, discourtesy and illegality". However, notwithstanding the failings of the Council, the Chancellor decided that a Confirmatory Faculty should be granted.

The Team Rector, a churchwarden and a deputy churchwarden applied for a confirmatory faculty for “retrospective approval for a prayer walk in the wooded area of the churchyard, including the introduction of a path, carved mushrooms inscribed with prayers and artwork designed following a study day.” The Public Notice resulted in two letters of objection, but there were no parties opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that the works were appropriate and directed the issue of a confirmatory faculty.

The petitioners wished to obtain permission to remove from the churchyard all items that were not allowed under the churchyards regulations, such as "figurine gnomes, garden gnomes, figurine angels, cupids, balloons, and solar lamps, etc." together with rose bushes and other shrubs planted on graves. There were several letters of objection, but no objector became a party opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty: "As a matter of logic and common sense, since there are regulations in force, it would be manifestly absurd to have them broken as each person deems fit ... In my judgment it is not proper for a person to take the law into his own hands, and then cry 'foul' when action is taken against him."

Application for a Faculty for the replacement of existing structures in the churchyard of a redundant church appropriated by a pastoral scheme for the use of an Oxford college. The work to include a new gardener’s office, greenhouse and cold frames and three storerooms and the removal of existing sheds and other structures, new bicycle stands to replace old ones, new fencing and the relocation of six monuments. Faculty granted for relocation of memorials and for only such other items as could not be regarded as "buildings" within the meaning of the Disused Burial Grounds Act 1884, which prohibits the erection of buildings within a disused burial ground.

The proposal was to construct a ramp at the front of a 1960s church, facing an access from the road, in order to allow step-free access to the front of the church for the disabled. Objections were based on the design of the ramp, the possibility of its use by skateboarders and consequent safety issues, the fact that there was step-free access to the church from the car park at the rear, and difficulties of loading and unloading at the front of the church. Faculty granted.

The Chancellor determined to grant a faculty to allow part of the churchyard to be reused for burials, but proposed to stay the issue of the faculty until the parish had considered whether to ask for a set of bespoke churchyard regulations limiting the types of stone which could be used for memorials, in order to preserve the character of the unique setting of the small country church set in the middle of a field.

The incumbent and churchwardens wished to grant a licence to a company to use part of the churchyard for temporary site offices and car parking, and to allow the fitting of electronically-controlled access gates. They also wished to dispose of some items of church furniture, which had been in storage for 10 years. The Victorian Society did not support the disposal of the lectern, a chair and some prayer desks. Historic England had reservations about the proposed new gates. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings had reservations about the gates and also archaeological concerns. The Chancellor was satisfied with the proposals and granted a faculty.

An interim hearing at which the Chancellor approved part of the proposals contained in the Petition, namely, the demolition of the parish room extension on the north side of the church and its replacement with a new parish centre extension, leaving outstanding proposals for a new glass foyer to link the new parish centre with the west end of the church.

Faculty granted for foyer to link extension on the north side of the church to the west end; new west door; moving of the font; and external block paving.