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Reordering

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Determination of two petitions on written representations in respect of a Victorian Grade 1 church (14 of its 15 stained glass windows designed by Edmund Burne-Jones and made by William Morris and company). The first petition sought permission to remove and dispose of two pews from the front of each side section of pews and relocate the pew frontals; to remove and dispose of three pews from the rear of each section of pews; to remove pew platform, level floor and re-carpet; to remove redundant piping from centre aisle; to remove and dispose of redundant parts of the existing sound system; to relocate sound desk to rear of pews; to install new sound desk equipment and audio-visual equipment. The second petition sought a faculty to authorise the introduction of a circular votive candle stand. Faculty granted in respect of each petition.

The proposals included the building of an extension adjoining the north-west corner of the church; the reordering of the west end of the nave (including the erection of a meeting room; the moving of the font to the middle of the south aisle; and the removal of pews from the south aisle, in order to create a flexible space. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The proposals were to remove two pews and book boards from the west end of the nave, to re-site the font centrally in the west bay of the nave, to introduce kitchen cupboards against the north wall of the tower, to introduce display units and cupboards at the west end of both aisles and to do various works in the vestry. There were objections to the moving of the font and the loss of some pews. The Chancellor determined that the proposals were both necessary and appropriate and granted a faculty.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for some minor reordering of the chancel of the church, to include moving the stone altar forward by 1 metre, to allow the celebrant to face westwards. The work also included the removal and disposal of the children's choir stalls.

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.

In 2008, the church architect sought formal advice from the Diocesan Advisory Committee for internal redecoration of the church. A revised request for formal advice was submitted in 2011. The DAC issued a certificate (with provisos) in respect of "a single coat of lime wash to the interior of the church". Work started in 2013, although no faculty had been granted. By the beginning of 2017, the walls were discoloured with algae. The architect advised the PCC that any remedial work and repainting would be covered by the earlier faculty (which in fact did not exist). Repainting was carried out in 2017, but with white clay paint instead of lime wash. When it was discovered by the DAC Secretary that the work had been done without faculty, an application was made for a confirmatory faculty. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but criticised the architect for allowing work to proceed without first making sure that a faculty had been granted, and he directed that the architect should pay two-thirds of the court fees.

There had originally been a proposal to sell the organ located in the church tower, and to use the space presently occupied by the organ to provide for kitchen and toilet facilities. The organ had not been used for many years, but had been installed shortly after the church had been built in the 19th century. However, the current petition was limited to the sale and removal of the organ. The Chancellor was satisfied in principal that the removal of the organ and installation of the kitchen and toilet facilities would benefit the church and the community, and he granted a faculty for the sale of the organ, provided that the sale would take place within two years, and provided also that the organ should remain as it is until the petitioners have permission from the Court to install the proposed kitchen and toilet facilities.

The petitioners sought a faculty to allow a temporary reordering, authorised by the Archdeacon, to remain permanently. This included a children's area at the west end of the church, the removal of a large painting from the west wall, the permanent removal of six pews, and an information 'Hub'. There were four objectors, of whom one became a party opponent. The Chancellor concluded that the impact of the proposed changes on the appearance of the church would be modest, and that the proposals for providing information about the church to a growing population were appropriate. He accordingly granted a faculty.

The faculty proposed changes to the heating sytem, removal of the side aisle pews and introduction of upholstered chairs to match the chairs in the centre of the nave, which had been authorised in 2015 to replace the nave pews. The Victorian Society objected to more upholstered seating. The Chancellor concluded that, "It would not be reasonable to deny the petitioners more of the same sort of chair", and granted a faculty.

The Faculty petition proposed a major reordering of a Grade II* church. The Victorian Society was a party opponent. The Chancellor approved the proposals generally, concluding that the benefits would outweigh any harm to the church. However, he was not prepared to approve the proposed red upholstered chairs. He therefore gave a stay of proceedings for 28 days, to allow for the petitioners to consider the judgment and put forward an alternative proposal for the chairs, which the Chancellor might find acceptable.