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 St. James Swarkestone [2019] ECC Der 2

The proposals included an extension to provide an accessible WC and external door lobby and adaptations to the existing meeting area (formerly a vestry) to include a kitchen, separated off by glazed screens from the rest of the church. A water supply and sewerage system were required. The Chancellor was satisfied that the proposals were desirable and appropriate for the church and granted a faculty.

Re St. John the Baptist Felixstowe [2019] ECC SEI 2

The petitioner (aged 98) and her late husband had lived in Belgium but had regularly travelled to Felixstowe over many years to visit the petitioner's mother. The petitioner's husband had died in 1992 and his ashes had been interred in Felixstowe Cemetery. The husband had no religious faith and the petitioner believed at the time of interment of his ashes that the ashes were being interred in an unconsecrated part of the cemetery, though it was eventually discovered that the whole of the cemetery was consecrated. The petitioner now wished to exhume her husband's ashes, and after her death to have his ashes and her own ashes scattered on the seashore in Felixstowe, in order to fulfill their long-held wish. In 1993, at the time when it was thought that the grave was unconsecrated, the petitioner had obtained a Home Office Licence to exhume her husband's ashes, but she had allowed the licence to lapse. The Chancellor, in the very special circumstances of this case, decided to treat this as an exceptional situation where he felt justified in granting a faculty.

Re St. Andrew Ham [2019] ECC Swk 1

The petitioners' daughter had died in 1980 and her ashes had been buried in the churchyard at Ham. The Petitioners had subsequently made their permanent home in Tasmania, but they had purchased the right to be buried in due time in a plot in Kingston General Cemetery. The petitioners wished, on the occasion of the first of them to die, to have their ashes interred in the reserved grave in the cemetery and to have their daughter's ashes exhumed from the churchyard and interred in the same grave. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

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

A major reordering of the Grade I church was proposed, including: a new timber floor with under-floor heating; a new ringing floor and glass screening to the tower; replacement of the pews with light-weight metal-framed chairs with wooden seats and backs; kitchenette and storage facilities; new lighting and audio-visual equipment. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for improving the church and its usability for both church and community use, in order to prevent further decline in the use of the church.

Re St. Bartholomew Orford [2018] ECC SEI 3

The PCC wished to replace the church organ (which had been installed as a temporary measure in the 1830s after the original organ had been damaged as a result of the west tower collapsing), because it was too small an instrument to support major instrumental and choral works. In 2017 the PCC voted in favour of accepting the gift of a 1977 organ from Southampton University. The DAC was concerned about the possible impact of the organ in the church, due to its large size and modern casing. English Heritage had reservations about the proposed organ, but the Church Buildings Council supported the project. The Deputy Chancellor decided that there was a clear and convincing justification for the installation of the organ and granted a faculty.

Re St. James Bulkington [2018] ECC Cov 8

The petitioner wished to introduce into the churchyard a memorial for his wife's grave. Several features of the proposed design were outside the churchyards regulations: polished dark grey granite; silvered lettering; two built-in vases; use of the word "Mummy" in the inscription; two hearts abutting each other, emerging from the top of the stone, each containing initials. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty allowing polished grey granite, silvered lettering, only one vase, and the word "Mummy" in the inscription. He did not permit the two hearts at the top of the memorial, but allowed a single engraved heart shape on the stone, picked out in white or silver, no greater than five inches in height or six inches in width, and with no lettering within the heart.

Re St. Matthew Chapel Allerton [2018] ECC Lee 2

The proposed reordering included re-plastering and redecoration; reordering of the west end of the nave by the creation of an enclosed, separately heated, community area and associated kitchen facilities; re-location of the font; relocation of a memorial; removal of the rear row of nave pews; and the addition of glass doors at the main entrance of the Church. The most controversial element was the proposed new meeting room at the west end of the church. The Victorian Society maintained that it would not harmonise with the rest of the church building. However, the Deputy Chancellor determined that the petitioners had made a clear and convincing justification for the proposed works. He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Benedict Biscop Wombourne [2019] ECC Lic 2

In 1953 a faculty had been granted to the petitioner's grandfather to permit the erection of a memorial and the creation of a vault reserving to the petitioner's grandfather and the members of his family the right of burial in the vault. The present petitioner's grandparents and other deceased members of the family had since been buried in the vault. There were six shelves in the vault, of which four had been used. The petitioner wished to reserve the remaining two shelves for the burial of himself and his fiancee. The petitioner's cousin objected to a faculty being granted on the grounds that the reservations would prevent any further members of the family (who might predecease the petitioner and his fiancee) from being placed in the vault, and because she felt that the terms of the orginal faculty limited the right of interment to direct descendants only. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty, but directed that (a) a person who married into the family would be eligible to be buried in the vault; (b) an interment should be treated as including the placing of cremated remains in the vault; and (c) if "space remains on any given shelf for the seemly custody of the cremated remains of more than one person then it is permissible for there to be such remains of more than one person on each shelf in the vault."

Re Landican Cemetery [2019] ECC Chr 2

The petitioner wished to exhume the body of her still-born son who was buried in an oak coffin in the cemetery in 1991 and to have the remains cremated and the ashes placed in a designated rose garden area at Landican Cemetery, where the remains of her own mother and brother had been placed. The petitioner's former partner opposed the exhumation, claiming to be the father of the child and the owner of rights of burial in the grave, whereas the petitioner claimed that he was not the father, and that she had conceived the child as the result of a relationship with another man during a brief separation of the petitioner and her former partner. There were allegations on both sides of interference with items placed on the grave. The Chancellor determined that exhumation was unnecessary and encouraged the parties, with the help of the cemetery manager, to reach an agreement about the future care of the grave.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Goosnargh [2019] ECC Bla 2

A faculty was sought to allow an extension to the existing churchyard path, in order to facilitate access to an existing wooden bench in wet weather when the ground becomes very wet. There was one objection. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. James Shaftesbury [2019] ECC Sal 1

The petitioners wished to have the cremated remains of their mother exhumed from the grave of her parents in one part of the churchyard and reinterred with the remains of the petitioners' father in another part of the same churchyard. Their father had expressed a wish to be buried with his wife, but the petitioners felt there would be difficulties in interring their father's ashes into the grave containing the remains of their mother and her parents. The Chancellor could find no special reasons for allowing exhumation. It would be possible to inter the ashes of the petitioners' father in the existing grave where his wife's remains were interred, thus fulfilling his wishes. Although there was insufficient space on the existing memorial to add the petitioners' father's name and dates of birth and death, the petitioners could lay a plaque in memory of their father on the grave, or else replace the existing memorial with a new one containing inscriptions in respect of the four people whose remains were interred in the grave. The petition was dismissed.

Re St. Giles Skelton [2019] ECC Yor 5

The proposal was to replace the existing pipe organ with an electronic organ. A letter of objection was received from a former organist at the church, who argued that the small instrument was ideal for the size of the church and, with minimal maintenance, had been working well for approximately 130 years; there was no reason why the organ should not continue to be effective for another 100 years; the life of an electronic organ, he claimed, rarely exceeds 20 years. The petitioners stated that the proposal to replace the pipe organ with an electronic organ was part of a long-term proposal to reorder the church. The advice of the organs adviser was that the organ had no historical importance, was tonally undistinguished and there were problems with the pedalboards. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for the replacement of the pipe organ and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Alban Wickersley [2019] ECC She 3

The incumbent and churchwardens wished to remove from the churchyard a headstone which had been introduced in December 2016 as a memorial to the mother and sister of the party opponent. A memorial had been erected in 1974, when the mother died. In 2016, when the daughter died, the stonemason submitted a memorial application in the standard form for a replacement memorial, which the incumbent approved. In due course the stonemason installed a memorial which was not in accordance with the approved application, and which had a number of features which were outside the churchyards regulations. The Chancellor ordered that the memorial should be removed and, as agreed between the stonemason and the party opponent, replaced by a new memorial at the expense of the stonemason. The stonemason was ordered to pay part of the Diocesan Registry costs and part of the party opponent's solicitors' costs.