Judgment Search

Churchyards

Display:

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 churchwardens sought a faculty to authorise the felling of a Scots Pine tree. Two adults had recently been hit by falling pine cones, and there was a concern for the safety of children who used the footpaths next to the tree for access to pre-school events or the Sunday school. Two objectors (who did not become parties opponent) claimed that the loss of the tree would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to a condition that a replacement tree of a species approved by the archdeacon should be planted during the current or next growing season at a location approved by the archdeacon.

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.

The incumbent and churchwardens applied for a faculty to approve a local variation of the Churchyard Regulations. The Chancellor was satisfied that it was appropriate to approve a local set of regulations on aesthetic and practical grounds and to enable better management of the churchyard. It would be a condition of the faculty that families would be required to sign a notice confirming that they would comply with the regulations.

The Faculty Petition sought permission for (a) CCTV cameras, (b) a projector and screen, and (c) new railings for the churchyard. Objections were made in respect of the proposed new railings. The Chancellor granted a Faculty for all the items. 

This judgment related to Re Tonge Moor St. Augustine (1) [2012]. The Chancellor refused to make an order for costs against the objectors.