Neutral Citations

On 23 December 2015, the Dean of Arches issued a Practice Note requesting Diocesan Registrars to allocate a neutral citation to each Consistory Court judgment. A revised version of the original Practice Note was issued on issued on 27 April 2016. Both Practice Notes can be downloading by clicking on these links:
Practice Note No. 1 of 2015
Practice Note No. 1 of 2016
Neutral citations are only being applied to judgments from 1 January 2016. Prior to that date, the ELA's own method of citation was used.

Those submitting judgments should not that a neutral citation should appear in the top left corner of a judgment, in the format set out in Practice Note 1 above.

Judgments are as supplied by the relevant Diocesan Registries, but we cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent minor amendments which have not been communicated to us. Anyone wishing to quote from a judgment should check with the relevant Diocesan or Provincial Registrar that the version on this web site is the final version.

Judgments Recently Received

Click on a citation to open or download a judgment.

Re St. Philip and St. James Leckhampton [2018] ECC Glo 1

A proposed reordering of the church included: removal of all the pews from the nave and side aisles; creation of a raised level floor throughout with underfloor heating; creation of 'pods' within the south and north aisles to house an office, kitchen and meeting room space above and chair storage; four WCs; relocation of the font; glazing in of the south transept chapel; glazed draught lobby. There were local objections and objections from some of the amenity societies. The Victorian Society made a formal objection. They objected to the pods, the removal of the pews, the raising of the floor, the impact loss of the removal of the chancel step, the underfloor heating above the columbarium , the glazing of the memorial chapel. The Chancellor granted a faculty: ‘I have, of course, considered the St Alkmund, Duffield test. Are these “exceptional circumstances” where the public benefit outweighs the level of harm … It is with a somewhat heavy heart that I have to find that the needs of the parish and its current congregation are such that that test is made out.’

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Great Somerford [2018] ECC Bri 2

Reordering proposals included: tiling; redecoration; creation of a coffee area by removing five pews; modification to the font; removal of choir stalls; accessible lavatory; a galley kitchen; removal of further pews to create a new vestry; some new stackable, upholstered chairs; and renewal of the heating and electrical systems. The small aging congregation of the church wished to increase the flexibility of use of the church and thus increase the numbers of those who attend church. The Chancellor was satisfied that the proposals, if implemented, would result in little if any significant harm to the church as a building of special architectural or historical interest, and accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. John the Baptist Bamford and Derwent [2018] ECC Der 3

The Petitioners wished to remove four pews, two from each side of the main aisle of the church nave, in order to provide a larger space for nave communions and village events, such as concerts. The Chancellor decided that any harm to the significance of the Grade II* listed building by the proposed removal would be ‘low’, but he only authorised the removal of three of the pews, as he considered that the removal of the fourth pew would provide very little extra space.

Re St. Thomas Worting [2018] ECC Win 4

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for exhumation. The petitioner wished to exhume the recently interred cremated remains of her husband from the churchyard and reinter them in her garden. The petitioner said that she had had differences with the vicar and for that reason she found it painful and distressing to visit her husband's grave. The Chancellor did not regard these circumstances sufficiently exceptional to justify the grant of a faculty.

In the Matter of Margaret Jane Moore [2018] ECC Bir 2

The petitioner wished to erect a memorial on his wife's grave. The proposed design included a design of a rose in gold, red and green. The Chancellor decided that in this particular case he would allow gold lettering and the design of the rose, provided that the rose was only coloured gold.

Re St. Aidan Bamburgh [2018] ECC New 2

The area around the font of the Grade I church consisted of sandstone flags, which over time had become very worn and had been patched with slate and concrete. The proposal was to relay the area with stone to match the existing stone around it, and to re-locate the slate to the south side to complete the paving of the south aisle in slate, all but the west end of that aisle already being paved in slate. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings objected to the proposal, preferring to see further patch repairs. Having inspected the floor, the Chancellor was satisfied that the proposed work was necessary in the interests of safety from trip-hazards, and being satisfied also that the work would not result in harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

Re St. Mary & St. Hugh Harlow [2018] ECC Chd 1

The vicar and churchwardens applied for a faculty to re-use the churchyard for burials. Though the churchyard was not closed by Order in Council, burials could now only take place in existing graves. There was one objector. A hearing was held, at which the Chancellor dismissed the objector's twelve grounds of objection as having no substance, in view of which, and also of the fact that the objector had refused to have the matter dealt with by written representations, the Chancellor directed that the objector should pay the costs of the half-day hearing.

Re All Saints Little Bealings [2018] ECC SEI 1

The faculty petition proposed a major reordering of the 13th century church, including removal of most of the pews and installation of a kitchen, which would support a proposed 'cafe hub'. The rationale for the proposals was to stem the decline of attendance at the church and encourage further church and community use, rather than risk closure. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for the changes and granted a faculty for all but one item in the proposals.

Re St Wilfred Portsea [2018] ECC Por 3

The proposal was to remove from the unlisted mission church, built in 1907, two World War I war memorials and a soldier's grave marker and place them on display with other WWI material in the adjacent community room, where they would be more visible and accessible to the community. Two objectors felt that placing the items in a community room was inappropriate, and would detract from the respect and reverence with which they should be treated.

Re St. Catherine Ventnor [2018] ECC Por 2

The petitioners wished to carry out works in the churchyard, comprising the creation of an area for cremated remains; creation of a garden for social and recreational use; and the reconfiguration and resurfacing of the parking area. There was an objection in respect of the parking area. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to conditions regarding memorials, human remains and the recording of the works.

Re Hither Green Cemetery [2018] ECC Swk 3

The petitioner sought permission to exhume the remains of her child (who had died, aged five, from a brain tumour), in order to have the remains cremated. She then wished to keep the cremated remains at home. The funeral had involved a humanist ceremony, but the remains had been buried in a consecrated part of the cemetery. The child's parents were unaware that the grave was in consecrated ground. The petitioner had subsequently regretted the interment and had found the situation difficult to come to terms with. The Chancellor found that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty. The judgment contains a discussion as to whether Articles 8 and 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights applied to this case.

Re St. James Louth [2018] ECC Lin 1

The proposal was to remove the worn Victorian tiles at the west end of the nave, apart from those around the font, and to replace them with Cadeby limestone paving to match the paving laid to replace the Victorian tiles in the remainder of the nave 20 years previously, when the Parochial Church Council was unable to replace all the tiles in the nave. Heritage England and the Victorian Society objected. The Chancellor was satisfied that any harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest would not be serious, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re All Saints Branston [2018] ECC Lin 2

In 1972 a reredos had been installed in the church of St. James Grimsby (now Grimsby Minster) in memory of a parishioner's wife. The reredos had been made by the sculptor Frank Roper to a design by the architect George Pace. In the course of a reordering in 1995, which was carried out without faculty, the reredos was removed and stored in the church. Some other items of furnishing were also removed at the time and there present whereabouts were unknown. The petitioners in the present case wished to relocate the reredos to the church of All Saints Branston. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but directed that the archdeacon should prepare a list of the furnishings removed in 1995, with the names of the donors and locations of the items, if known, with a view to the Chancellor then making an order in respect of those items.

Re Mariners' Church Gloucester [2018] ECC Glo 2

The Chancellor granted a faculty for reordering within a 19th century proprietary chapel, which has only relatively recently become subject to faculty jurisdiction. The chapel was built to cater for the bargees and seamen who worked in or visited the dockland area of Gloucester. The works included a glass outer door; removal of pews; new lighting and heating; a kitchen unit/servery; a disabled toilet; and monitors and a sound system. Certain items were not approved.