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 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 number 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.

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Re Cheshunt Cemetery (No. 3) [2019] ECC StA 2

The Petitioners were atheists, and had been disturbed when they discovered that their baby's cremated remains had been interred in a consecrated part of the cemetery, when there was an adjacent unconsecrated area available. Neither the funeral directors nor the burial authority's officer who dealt with the interment had explained the nature of each area of land. The Chancellor determined that there had been a fundamental mistake of fact on the part of the petitioners as to the nature of the plot in which they agreed to have the ashes of their baby interred, and he granted a faculty for exhumation and reinterment.

Re St. Bartholomew Failand [2019] ECC B&W 1

The Rector and churchwardens wished to replace the gravel between the churchyard gate and the main entrance of the church with stone to match the stonework of the church. The Diocesan Advisory Committee advised the Chancellor that Forest of Dean or Welsh Pennant stone should be used, whereas the Rector and churchwardens wished to use the less expensive Indian sandstone. After considering further advice from the church architect and a member of the DAC, the Chancellor was concerned that "Indian sandstone blends less comfortably with the weathered stone of the church". He therefore granted a faculty subject to a condition that Forest of Dean or Welsh Pennant stone should be used.

Re St. Paul Quarndon [2019] ECC Der 4

The petitioner wished to replace a memorial stone commemorating one parent with a new black granite stone commemorating both parents, the second parent having died recently. The parish priest and Parochial Church Council objected, as the specification was outside the diocesan churchyards regulations, notwithstanding that there were several black granite memorials already in the churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty on the basis that it would be unreasonable and discriminatory towards the family concerned if a faculty were refused when there were already so many black granite memorials in the churchyard.

Re Great Ness Cemetery [2019] ECC Lic 8

When his mother's body was interred in the cemetery in 1989, the petitioner obtained rights of burial for himself and his wife in the adjoining plot. In 2018, the burial authority dug a grave in the plot reserved by the petitioner. The burial authority's mistake was only discovered on the morning of the intended burial. Rather than insist that the burial authority stopped the funeral, the petitioner, out of compassion for the family concerned, allowed the burial to take place in the plot he had reserved. The petitioner then applied for a faculty to have his mother's body exhumed with a view to reinterment in a burial chamber on the petitioner's farm land, the chamber being a secure structure, and capable of accommodating the bodies of the petitioner and his wife after their deaths. It would then be completely sealed by the family. The Chancellor determined that there were exceptional circumstances to justify him granting a faculty as requested.

Re All Saints Wellington [2019] ECC Lic 7

The petitioners wished to remove the front four rows of pews from the nave of the Grade II* church, in order to provide a more flexible space, particularly for services and events involving children. It was also proposed to replace the pews with upholstered chairs. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the upholstered chairs, and Historic England and the Georgian Group held similar views. The Chancellor was satisfied that a case had been made out for the removal of the front four rows of pews, but refused to approve replacement chairs with upholstered backs, which, in the red colour proposed, would create an adverse visual impact in front of the remaining pews.

Re St. Michael Llanyblodwel [2019] ECC Lic 6

The Parochial Church Council sought a faculty for the installation of a frameless glass door into the porch opening. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not support the proposal: the door would look too modern; a wooden or metal frame would be preferable. Historic England, the Victorian Society and the Ancient Monuments Society also objected. The Chancellor concluded that a frameless glass door would have an adverse aesthetic effect on the Grade I listed church. He according declined to approve a frameless glass door, but approved a wood-framed or metal-framed glass door of a design acceptable to the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

Re St. Gregory Castlemorton [2019] ECC Wor 2

It was proposed to create space in the nave, to allow for a wide range of worship, social and cultural activities in the Grade I church. The works included removing 17 pews (some from the nave and some from the Lady Chapel); levelling the floor; moving the font from near the south door to the Lady Chapel; improving the layout of the chancel by the removal of some of the pews; removal of the 1944 communion rail; conversion of the Lady Chapel altar to allow the storage of altar linen; and the creation of new cupboard storage space. The Chancellor was not satisfied that a good case had been made for the moving of the font from near the south door, nor for removing the pews from the Lady Chapel, but he granted a faculty for the other items.

Re St. Thomas the Martyr Up Holland [2019] ECC Liv 4

The church, which is listed Grade I, dates back to the 14th century, but the current layout is Victorian. The proposals included removal of the screens on either side of the chancel steps and their relocation on the east wall of the church, adjacent to the high altar and slightly behind the riddle posts, as well as some alterations to the choir stalls. The Chancellor was satisfied that the benefits of the proposals - allowing the congregation to engage more with the Eucharist, due to improved sight lines, and greater flexibility of use for the reordered space - would outweigh what he considered to be a low degree of harm to the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest, and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Helens Parish Church [2019] ECC Liv 3

The Church of St. Helens is a very large church in the centre of the town, capable of seating 800 people. It was built in the 1920s and is listed Grade II. The petition proposed the permanent removal of 5 pews from the front of the nave and 12 pews from the rear. Authority had previously been given by Archdeacon's Licence for the removal of the pews on a temporary basis. The reason given for the proposals was to provide more flexible space for church and community use. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the removal of such a relatively small proportion of the pew seating would not cause great harm to the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

Re St. Margaret of Antioch Toxteth [2019] ECC Liv 2

The proposal was to remove the pews from the church and replace them with chairs from the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool. The church is an elaborately-decorated Victorian church listed Grade II*, though from an inspection the Chancellor describes the pews as "not in a particularly good condition, certainly not ergonomically comfortable or efficient, but certainly simple in form". The church had gone through a period of decline, but was now developing with a mission for outreach, and wished to provide a more flexible space for a number of activities, including the hosting of food banks, messy church, arts projects, plays and concerts. The Chancellor concluded that the removal of the pews would not result in any particular harm to the significance of the building and its special architectural or historic interest, and that there would be substantial benefits to the church. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary Liss [2019] ECC Por 2

The petition proposed a reordering of the chancel, to include extending the chancel floor level a short distance into the nave and to provide new altar rails. The Victorian Society objected to the proposed removal of the pulpit and the removal of the iron railings and alabaster-faced walls which separated the chancel from the nave. The Chancellor concluded that the removal of the features concerned would cause moderate harm to the significance of the building as a place of historical interest, but that the harm would be outweighed by the public benefits of providing a more open, unimpeded and flexible space to meet the worship, mission and community needs of the parish.

Re All Saints Worcester [2019] ECC Wor 1

Having been through a period of decline, the Grade II* listed church had been revitalised in recent years, with 300 people attending weekly to worship in an evangelical style. The Petitioners wished to carry out a major reordering in stages, to create a multi-functional space for the church and the wider community. The first stage of the reordering involved the replacement of the pews with chairs, a servery and the moving of the font from near the main church door. The chair proposed was an Alpha SB2M", with a chromed metal frame and an upholstered seat and back. Most of the amenity societies consulted objected to the taking out of the pews and replacement with the proposed style of chair. The Victorian Society was a party opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that a case had been made out for the servery and the replacement of the pews with the chosen chairs, and granted a faculty, but he did not consider that an adequate case had been made for the moving of the font.

Re Tunbridge Wells Cemetery [2019] ECC Roc 5

There were two petitioners for exhumation. The second petitioner wished to have the remains of her father exhumed, because by mistake they had been interred in the grave of the first petitioner's father. The second petitioner's father's remains could then be reinterred in the same grave as the second petitioner's mother and brother. (Permission was sought to lift the coffins of the mother and brother in order to deepen the plot, if necessary, to accommodate the third interment.) The first petitioner wished to exhume his mother's remains and have them reinterred with his father's remains, following the exhumation of the second petitioner's father's remains. The Chancellor was satisfied that an innocent mistake had been made by the cemetery authority in allowing the second petitioner's father to be buried in the same grave as the first petitioner's father, thus preventing the remains of the first petitioner's mother being buried with the remains of her husband. The Chancellor therefore decided that there were exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of a faculty for the two exhumations and reinterments.

In the Matter of SMF deceased [2019] ECC Lee 4

This judgment has been anonymised, to protect the family of the petitioner. In 2003, the petitioner's husband died aged 38, leaving the petitioner with two children, a son then aged 14 and a daughter aged 7. The basis of the petition was that the deceased's daughter, now aged 23, wished to have a ring made from the deceased's ashes, as a special memento which might help to ease the grief of losing her father. This would involve exhuming the ashes and taking a spoonful of ashes to be converted by an industrial process to form a stone which would be placed in a ring setting. The remaining ashes would be reinterred in the original grave. The deceased's widow (the petitioner) and the deceased's surviving parent (his mother) supported the proposal. Whilst expressing sympathy for the family, the Chancellor determined that, bearing in mind the relevant legal and doctrinal principles relating to exhumation, as summarised in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299 and other cases, he could not find in this case exceptional circumstances which would allow him to grant a faculty.

Re of St. Margaret of Scotland Southsea [2019] ECC Por 1

By 2015 the condition and use of the early 20th century church had declined to such an extent that the building was temporarily closed for health and safety reasons and the congregation dispersed to other churches. In 2017 a new congregation was formed and worshipped in the church hall, but before long it became apparent that more space was needed. Steps were taken under various faculties to revive the church and make it safe for worship. The current petition sought authority for the removal of a number of items of furnishing, as a precursor to reordering in a way that would meet the needs of the new congregation. The Chancellor agreed to the removal of the majority of items in the petition (including the high altar and the font), but he excluded the removal of the lectern, the Communion rails and the pulpit (with the associated memorial plaque).

Re St. Denys Stanford in the Vale [2019] ECC Oxf 1

The petitioner wished to re-locate the headstone at the grave of her son by a small distance sideways, so that it would be aligned with what she believed to be the centre of the head of her son’s grave. The vicar and churchwardens objected on the grounds that (1) realigning the stone would make it stand out amongst other stones in the churchyard with which it would not be in line; (2) headstones were aligned with those in rows behind them “for dignity, and creating an orderly environment”; (3) the petitioner had agreed in writing to the headstone being aligned with the stones behind; and (4) allowing the petition would be seen as creating a precedent. The Chancellor did not consider the first and fourth objections as carrying much weight, but that the second and third objections did. The vicar was entitled to require such uniformity of alignment of monuments as he thought fit, within the parameters of the churchyard regulations, and the petitioner had agreed in writing to the monument being placed where it was, even if there had been a mistake in understanding on her part. The Chancellor accordingly refused to grant a faculty.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Aston Rowant [2019] ECC Oxf 3

As part of a scheme of reordering in 2011-2012, 30 red-upholstered chairs with black metal frames were introduced into the Lady Chapel of the Grade II* church without faculty consent. These chairs were quite different from the chairs specified by the architect, on the basis of which the Diocesan Advisory Committee issued a certificate that it did not object to the works in the Lady Chapel. The churchwardens subsequently applied for a retrospective faculty to authorise the 30 chairs. The amenity societies consulted were strongly opposed to the chairs. The Chancellor was of the opinion that the chairs were "incongruous and aesthetically inappropriate in and to the setting of this medieval Grade II* listed building". However, he granted a faculty for the chairs, but subject to a condition that within 5 years the petitioners should apply for a further faculty for "suitable and appropriate replacement chairs which respect the interior and significance of this Grade II* listed church".

Re St. Peter West Blatchington [2019] ECC Chi 4

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.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Shorne [2019] ECC Roc 4

The Vicar and Churchwardens and NET Coverage Solutions Ltd. applied for a faculty to authorise the installation of telecommunications equipment at the church. There were various notices of objection, but only one objector became a party opponent. Shortly before the planned hearing date, the petitioners withdrew their petition. The party opponent claimed costs aginst the petitioners on the grounds that the petitioners had acted unreasonably. The Chancellor determined that the petitioners had, to a certain extent, acted unreasonably in the matter. He directed that the party opponent's costs be reduced by 10% and that half the reduced amount of costs should be paid by the petitioners.

Re St. Michael the Archangel Beccles [2019] ECC SEI 4

The petition proposed various items as the second phase of a reordering project. The main items were: the creation of a servery built on to the north wall at the west end of the church; removal of seven rows of pews at the west end of the church; and removal of two rows of pews at the front of the nave to allow an extension to the existing dais. The Victorian Society and Historic England had reservations about the works, but the Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made an adequate case for the proposed works: " ... I find that the petitioners have proved to me to the necessary degree that the moderate harm that will be caused to the significance of this church as a building of special architectural or historic interest is justified by the need demonstrated."

Re St. James the Great Haslingden [2019] ECC Bla 3

The petitioners sought permission to renew the 'plastic' protective coverings to the windows on the two levels of the Georgian church building. The Georgian Group suggested that wire mesh grilles would allow better ventilation. The Chancellor was satisfied that the question of ventilation had been addressed by the contractors, and he therefore granted a faculty as requested.

Re St. Wilfrid Barrow-on-Trent [2019] ECC Der 3

The parish was involved in a major reordering project costing around £850,000, which had been approved by faculty in February 2019. Two months after the faculty was granted, thieves stole lead from the chancel roof, and the cost of replacing the lead immediately would have been impossible for the Parochial Church Council ("PCC"), bearing in mind their current commitments. They therefore applied for a faculty to authorise the covering of the chancel with roofing felt as a temporary measure. The Chancellor decided that the priority was to take steps to prevent further ingress of water as soon as possible. He therfore granted a faculty to authorise the covering of the chancel roof with roofing felt for a period of up to five years, subject to a condition that before the expiry of such period the PCC should put forward proposals for a more permanent covering.

Re St. Laurence Ansley [2019] ECC Cov 5

Outside the north wall of the church is an area for cremated remains containing a large number of wedge-shaped memorials set on stone slabs 18 inches square. However, some larger bases which had been introduced had adversely affected the appearance of the area. The churchwardens therefore proposed setting plain slab bases on the unused plots in anticipation of wedge-shaped memorials being put on them in the future, in order to minimise the risk of incorrectly sized bases being laid; to keep the area looking uniform and tidy; and to avoid the churchwardens having to take remedial steps, which might give rise to pastoral difficulties. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the proposal, but the Chancellor was satisfied that there was a problem which needed to be addressed, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

In the Matter of George Henry Humphreys deceased [2019] ECC Man 1

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of her father (who died in 2007) exhumed from Dean churchyard, near Bolton, and reinterred in the churchyard at Warburton with the as yet uninterred cremated remains of her mother (who died in 2018), because the petitioner's parents had started life as a married couple in Warburton, and a number of members of the family lived there. The Chancellor could find no exceptional circumstances to justify embarking from the general principle that burial should be regarded as permanent. Amongst the reasons given for his decision not to grant a faculty, the Chancellor observed that the Petitioner's mother had chosen to have her husband's remains interred at Dean and had regularly visited the grave there until her death, and he also stated that "to allow this application would be to approve a practice of regarding cremated remains as ‘portable’ and that to do so would encourage such applications, which I am not willing to do".

Re St. Andrew Chinnor [2019] ECC Oxf 4

The petitioner wished to place a 'desk type' ledger stone in the churchyard. The Rector had indicted that she would object, as the type of stone was not covered by the churchyards regulations, which require ledger stones to be laid flush with the ground. However, the incumbent had recently approved such a stone, and there were other examples of the type of stone in the same area of the churchyard. Following the departure of the rector, one of the churchwardens objected to the stone. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty on the basis that (a) there was nothing offensive about the desk-style ledger stones which populate the particular area of the churchyard; (b) there were already several examples of the type of stone in that area; and (c) he was concerned that the church should be seen to be acting consistently towards applicants.

Re St. Laurence Lighthorne [2019] ECC Cov 2

In 2017 an Archdeacon's licence for temporary reordering was granted to allow the removal to storage of four pews and one pew frontal from the west end of the north side of the nave. The petitioners now sought permission to make the removal permanent, as it had facilitated use of the area for activities with children during services, for the taking of refreshments after services and for the positioning of wheelchairs. There was an objection from a parishioner. The Chancellor was satisfied that good reason had been shown to justify the proposal, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Nicholas North Stoneham [2019] ECC Win 2

The Parochial Church Council ("PCC") wished to carry out extensive repairs and reordering of the church, and the current petition dealt with the first phase. The only controversial items were the replacement of the Bosley pews with upholstered, metal-framed chairs and the laying of carpet in the church nave. The Chancellor was satisfied that a case had been made for the replacement of the pews with chairs - there was no church hall and the PCC wished to provide a more flexible space to meet the needs of a new community of 1200 houses to be built near the church. However, he had reservations about the proposed metal chairs and required the PCC to propose a type of wooden chair. The Chancellor approved the carpet on the basis that it would be a temporary measure until some more satisfactory hard flooring solution could be implemented, as part of the overall scheme.

Re All Hallows Bardsey [2019] ECC Lee 3

The petitioners wished to remove a small number of pews and pew frontals from the Grade I church, install some handrails and improve the lighting. The controversial item was the removal of two pew frontals from the front of the church. The reasons for the proposals were to make areas of the church more accessible for people in wheelchairs and to extend areas where special events could be held, such as children’s events, music groups, serving of food, group meetings. The Victorian Society and Historic England were concerned about the removal of the two pew frontals at the front of the nave. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a case for the changes, but made it a condition of the faculty that arrangements would be made to store the frontals inside the church or elsewhere.

Re Lambeth Cemetery [2019] ECC Swk 5

The petitioner wished to exhume from the consecrated part of Lambeth Cemetery the remains of her father, interred in 1987. The family is not Christian, but Taoist, and it was not known at the time of the interment that the grave was consecrated. When the petitioner's mother died in 2018, the petitioner felt that she could not have her mother's remains buried in the same grave as her father, owing to the Taoist cultural tradition prohibiting a female being buried on top of the head of the family. There was no available spce for interment of her mother's remains next to those of her father, so the petitioner arranged for her mother's remains to be interred in a double plot in Beckenham Cemetery, assuming that she would be able to have her father's remains exhumed and reinterred in that grave. The Chancellor considered that there were exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of a faculty.

Re St. John the Baptist Royston [2019] ECC StA 1

The church had been seriously damaged by fire in December 2018, and the petitioners saw the restoration of the church as an opportunity to carry our some reordering to meet the future needs of the parish. In the wake of the fire there had been an interim faculty granted for the storage of the pews in the chancel until reinstatement or disposal. The petitioners now requested a faculty for the removal of the fire and water damaged pew platforms, disposal of the pews and a new floor. New seating would be the subject of a separate petition. The Victorian Society objected to the disposal of the pews. (Almost half the original Victorian pews had in fact been removed over time.) The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the benefits of removing the pews and pew platforms outweighed any harm to the church's significance and its aesthetic and architectural qualities.

Re St. Peter Church Lawford [2019] ECC Cov 4

The Rector and Churchwardens wished to replace the lead on the south aisle and vestry roofs with terne-coated stainless steel. The Church had suffered from lead thefts in the past and already had a terne-coated steel roof over the north porch. The remaining lead had been repaired a number of times in recent years and was regarded as having reached the end of its serviceable life after 100 years. Historic England objected to terne-coated steel, and took the view that the lead should be replaced with lead. Historic England's own advice in its booklet ‘Metal Thefts from Historic Buildings’ suggested that stainless steel was a suitable alternative to lead, where there had been lead theft and repeated attacks. The Deputy Chancellor determined that the Petitioners have shown good reason for the replacement of lead with terne-coated stainless steel, and he granted a faculty.

Re St. James Ravenfield [2019] ECC She 2

The grave of the petitioner's maternal grandparents was marked by a dark grey granite memorial in 1985. (The churchyard contains mostly memorials of the yellowish brown sandstone quarried locally.) Subsequently, the cremated remains of the petitioner’s aunt and her husband were buried in the plot and a dark granite cube memorial was installed. The petitioner's father and mother died in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and the petitioner now wished to place dark grey granite kerbs around the grave and add a desk-type memorial within the kerbs. Whilst the Chancellor considered it unfortunate that a dark grey granite memorial had been erected on the grave, a number of other dark grey granite memorials had been introduced into the churchyard, and she considered that a decision to require the use the local sandstone would not be appropriate: "either the memorial for the Petitioner’s parents would not match the existing memorial features at the plot, or the Petitioner would be obliged to replace the headstone and memorial cube to avoid this." She also considered it arguable, given the location of the cube memorial, that the addition of the kerb sets would both improve the appearance of the grave and ease its maintenance. She therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary Battersea [2019] ECC Swk 4

A new lighting scheme had been prepared for the Grade I Georgian church. Historic England and the Local Planning Authority were concerned about the proposal to recess some spotlights into the ceiling. The petitioners were asked to consider alternative arrangements, and the favoured one involved four groups of five spotlights recessed into 'rafts' or slim panels suspended on wires close to the ceiling. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re All Saints Sutton Courtenay [2019] ECC Oxf 2

The petitioner wished to disinter the remains of his great-great-grandparents, who died in 1879 and 1910, because an extension of the church was to be built and the grave would be against the wall of the extension and have paths on the remaining three sides. Also, it was likely that people would take a short cut over the grave to the entrance to the extension. It was proposed to reinter the remains elsewhere in the same churchyard. The Chancellor decided that there were exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of a faculty.

Re St. Mary & St. Ethelburga Lyminge [2019] ECC Can 1

The works proposed included improvements to the churchyard paths, including step-free access to the church, and in the course of such works the carrying out of archeological works with the objective of re-excavating a structure in the churchyard found by a nineteenth century incumbent but re-buried in 1929. This structure is believed to be the remains of a Saxon church. Letters of objection from two neighbours expressed concern about the impact of the works on the adjacent lane. The Chancellor was satisfied that the improvement of the paths would enhance the churchyard, and also examining, recording and securing for the future archaeological remains of national and possible international significance justified the granting of a faculty.

Re All Saints Rettendon [2019] ECC Chd 1

The petitioners wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial to their late mother. The memorial proposed was to be a bird bath, carved from grey, unpolished Finland granite, containing the name, and dates of birth and death of the deceased, and inscribed with the words: “The goat’s milk is sour.” (These words had been used by the family for over 30 years in times of stress, to relieve tension, and no-one had objected to them.) But the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the proposed design, on the basis that it might form a precedent. However, the Parochial Church Council approved the proposal, as the bird bath would be placed next to trees, where mourners had from time to time placed bird feeders. The deceased had been a great supporter of wildlife in general and birds in particular. The Deputy Chancellor decided in the particlar circumstances that it was appropriate to grant a faculty.

Re Clayton Cemetery Bradford [2019] ECC Lee 2

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of her brother, Colin Berry, exhumed from Clayton Cemetery and reinterred in Queensbury Cemetery, where the Berry family had exclusive burial rights in two adjacent plots. Mr. Berry had died of a gunshot wound during a police raid in 2013. Following his death there had been a lack of communication between Mr. Berry's widow and the Mr. Berry's own relatives. Shortly after the death, Mr. Berry's widow moved away without paying the funeral bill from her husband's estate, and attempts to trace her had failed. The Chancellor found that there were exceptional circumstances in which to authorise exhumation, but the faculty was to be subject to a condition that the area for reinterment in Queensbury Cemetery should first be consecrated (to which Bradford City Council had agreed), before the remains were reinterred there, in order that the Court could maintain jurisdiction in the unlikely event of Mr. Berry's widow subsequently seeking to set aside the Chancellor's decision.

Re St. Andrew Farnham [2019] ECC Gui 1

Whilst acknowledging the success of a recent major internal reordering of the church, Historic England were unhappy about proposals to install new audio-visual equipment, namely, screens in the aisles, fixed to the pillars, and replacement loudspeakers. The Chancellor was satisfied with the need for the equipment, and agreed to the proposals, subject to conditions that: (1) the screens would have a white or no border, so that they would blend with the white background; (2) the screens would be no wider than the pillars; (3) the Diocesan Advisory Committee should approve the fixings and (4) the loudspeakers should be four steerable beam loudspeakers at high level.

Re St. Anne Aigburth [2019] ECC Liv 1

The Vicar and Churchwardens sought a faculty to authorise a substantial reordering of the church. This judgment deals with the first phase: replacement of pews with chairs, the levelling/replacement of the floor, the construction of a chancel dais, and the installation of two toilets, one of which will be accessible. Initial consultation with, and the views of, the Diocesan Advisory Committee, Historic England, the Church Buildings Council and the Victorian Society had been on the understanding that the proposed replacement chair would be an all wood 'Theo' chair, but when the petition came before the Chancellor the petitioners had chosen instead a metal-framed, upholstered 'SB2M' chair. The Chancellor approved in principle all the items, but was not prepared to approve the SB2M chair without further consultation taking place with the before-mentioned bodies and a further opportunity for the petitioners to consider an alternative chair or make a stronger case for the SB2M chair.

Re St. John Waterloo [2019] ECC Swk 3

A major reordering scheme was proposed for the church. The Twentieth Century Society, though not a party opponent, objected that the proposed scheme would affect the integrity of the original design of the church by the Georgian architect Thomas Ford. The Chancellor took the view that the proposed scheme would have a significant effect on the interior of the church, but he was satisfied that the benefits would outweigh any harm. He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Chad Longsdon [2019] ECC Lic 5

The petitioners wished to introduce sixteen upholstered Alpha A1LE chairs together with four dining tables into the north aisle of the church, from which the pews had been removed in 1997. The vicarage had recently been sold, resulting in the loss of a room for church meetings. The tables and chairs would be used for refreshments and fellowship after church services and for meetings of the Parochial Church Council. Although satisfied that a case was made for tables and chairs, the Chancellor was concerned that the particular chairs chosen would "have a real impact on the appearance and special significance of this grade II* church. They will strike a discordant note and will detract from the overall character of the interior." He therefore refused to grant a faculty, but invited the petitioners to consider alternative chairs in consultation with the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

Re St. James Bulkington [2019] ECC Cov 3

The petitioner sought a faculty to authorise the exhumation of the remains of her daughter and husband from Bulkington churchyard, in Warwickshire, with a view to them being reinterred in the churchyard at Bacton in Norfolk. The petitioner's daughter had lived only one day and was buried at Bulkington fifty years ago. Her husband's cremated remains had been interred there nineteen years ago. Seven years ago, the petitioner, who had suffered serious health issues, had moved to Bacton to be near her family, and she wished in due course to be buried with the remains of her daughter and husband at Bacton, where her remaining family would be able to maintain the grave. She was concerned about being unable to visit the churchyard in Warwickshire regularly and maintain the grave there. The Chancellor, applying the principles laid down in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, could not find sufficient exceptional grounds in this case to justify the grant of a faculty.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Berwick [2019] ECC Chi 3

There were extensive proposals for restoration of and improvements to the Grade I listed church. There were five objectors, but none were parties opponent. The church contains a scheme of paintings on plaster panels, lining the nave and chancel walls, executed in 1941-42 by Duncan Grant and Quentin and Vanessa Bell. One of the concerns was as to the conservation of the paintings. The Deputy Chancellor was satisfied however that adequate expert advice was being sought about the conservation work. Another item of contention was the retention of the front pipework of the old organ, which was being replaced by a digital organ. The petitioners argued that this would provide a sense of continuity with the previous organ arrangements. The Deputy Chancellor was satisfied with all the proposals and granted a faculty.

Re All Saints Hooton Pagnell [2017] ECC She 1

In 2016 the Archdeacon discovered that a toilet, within a roofless cubicle, had been installed without the grant of a faculty in the church vestry and that the arrangements for the drainage of sewage from the toilet had involved excavation into the ancient churchyard. It was later discovered that a kitchen sink unit and a wall mounted electric water heater had been installed without faculty inside a cupboard at the base of the church tower. All of the works were said to be of poor quality. The Archdeacon, the Secretary of the Diocesan Advisory Committee ("DAC") and the Diocesan Registrar endeavoured to get the District Church Council ("DCC") to carry out restoration works. Eventually a faculty petition was filed for the restoration works. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the church to be restored to its former condition and directed that the DCC should pay the Registry costs and the costs of the DAC employing counsel to advise in the matter.

Re St. James Heckmondwike [2019] ECC Lee 1

The petitioners proposed to remove the church's pipe organ (built in 1878), leaving the front of the casing and its decorative pipes, and to install an electronic organ within the old casing. The organ had not been regularly used for many years and was considered difficult to play. Also, the estimated cost of restoration of the organ was beyond the means of the Parochial Church Council. The space created by the removal of the organ would provide for a vestry and storage room. The British Institute of Organ Studies argued that the casing was an integral part of the organ and that the two should not be separated, though in fact the casing, which matched panels in the church, was a later addition in 1925. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re Holy Trinity Dalton [2019] UKUT 0176 (LC)

This was an appeal from a decision of the Land Registration Division of the Property Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal, which resulted from an application by the Incumbent and the Diocesan Board of Finance (the Respondents in the appeal) to register the title to the church. The church at Dalton was completed in 1837 and was conveyed to the Church Building Commissioners by Edward Collingwood as a chapel of ease for the parish of Newburn. The conveyance reserved to the donor the burial vault under the nave for the interment of the donor and his heirs. The last interment of a member of the Collingwood family was in 1940. By a pastoral scheme made in 2004, the church was declared redundant. Before the scheme, the church was always open, but after the scheme it was kept locked. The issue was whether the respondents (or either of them) had made out a claim to the vault based on adverse possession. The decision of the Upper Tier Tribunal was that the respondents could not claim title to the vault by adverse possession.

Re St. Mary Melton Mowbray [2019] ECC Lei 4

The Parochial Church Council had engaged a “decorative stone & plaster conservator” to carry out restoration work to the painting of the Royal Coat of Arms over the chancel arch of the church, without consulting the Diocesan Advisory Committee or obtaining a faculty. They subsequently realised that they should have obtained a faculty and made an application. The Chancellor, "with some hesitation", granted a confirmatory faculty.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Adbaston [2019] ECC Lic 4

In the severe winter of 1980/81, the petitioner's father died. The churchyard being deep in snow, the parish priest recommended cremation followed by interment of the ashes in a sheltered spot by the church. The petitioner's mother died in June 2018, aged 102, and in accordance with her wishes her body had been buried in the churchyard. The petitioner now wished to have her father's ashes exhumed and interred in her mother's grave. The Chancellor decided that the circumstance in which the petitioner's father's remains had been interred, combined with her mother's expressed hope that her husband’s remains could in due course be moved so that she and he could be in the same plot, amounted to exceptional circumstances allowing him to grant a faculty for exhumation.

Re St. Peter Stoke Upon Tern [2019] ECC Lic 3

The proposed works to the Grade II church involved a "a significant remodelling" of the porch. The Victorian Society, though not a party opponent, expressed strong objections that the works would involve the demolition of a “principal element” of the listed building, as the design would be so different from the original porch. Historic England expressed a preference for the porch being rebuilt close to its original design. The Diocesan Advisory Committee's only reservation was the proposed curtain heater over the door. The Chancellor determined that the benefits from the lighter and more comfortable and more welcoming internal arrangements which would result from the proposed glazing, outweighed the harm to the church’s special significance, and he therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Nicholas Charlwood [2019] ECC Swk 2

The petitioner's mother died in a motor accident in 2000. The petitioner's father had been in such a state of shock that he had left it to a family friend to arrange the funeral. Notwithstanding that the father and his three daughters were all atheists, the family friend arranged for burial in the consecrated churchyard at Charlwood. Each member of the family had never been happy with this and had only recently found it possible to discuss the matter together. They now wished the mother's body to be exhumed and cremated, and the ashes scattered elsewhere. The Deputy Chancellor considered the guiding principles laid down in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299 and concluded that this was an exceptional case where exhumation should be allowed: " ... I am persuaded that there was a fundamental mistake of intention in this case ... For a family of conscientious atheists, Christian burial was not the right choice. The daughters have tried very hard to honour and make sense of their mother’s memory through the medium of her grave, but they reached a point whereby the thing which should provide some solace was doing the opposite."

Re St. Nicholas Southfleet [2019] ECC Roc 2

The churchwardens petitioned for a faculty to authorise the removal of the existing cast iron radiators and pipework in the church, the introduction of six convector heaters, and the introduction of an insulated ceiling in the vestry. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the proposed insulated ceiling, stating that the vestry space was not a large one to heat; "the proposed ceiling would hide the timbers of the roof structure which, although not medieval, are substantial looking timbers with pegged joints"; and "the proposed ceiling may make the room feel 'claustrophobic' for those using it." The vestry was used by the parish priest as an office and the insulated ceiling had been proposed in order to prevent heat from the small heater being lost upwards to the high ceiling. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made out a case of need, and that the work would not cause damage to the fabric and was reversible. He accordingly granted a faculty.