Judgment Search



The Diocesan Advisory Committee recommended that the restoration of two windows at the east end of the church should be carried out by a stained glass contractor accredited by ICON (Institute of Conservation). The Parochial Church Council wished to engage a contractor who had previously carried out work at the church but was not so accredited. The Deputy Chancellor: " ... it would be unjudicial of me blindly to apply a blanket requirement for the ICON accreditation of contractors ... [the chosen contractor] clearly has a significant number of years’ experience working on similar projects to the acclaim of well-respected professionals. He has considered and addressed concerns raised by the CBC and is clearly sympathetic to conservation concerns and the need to preserve originality where possible." Faculty granted.

Faculty granted for reordering, including underfloor heating, replacement of pews with chairs, enclosure of Lady Chapel and vestry, kitchenette, toilet, glass doors and lighting and audio-visual system.

The incumbent and churchwardens applied for a faculty to authorise works which included the removal and storage of one pair of wooden doors; the reduction in size of the disabled lavatory cubicle, so as to provide more space in the adjacent room which is used as a creche; the introduction of worktops; associated electrical and drainage works; and relocation of a Belfast sink to the north porch. There were 16 letters of objection, but no parties opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that, although the guidelines set out in the judgment in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2013] did not engage in the case of this unlisted Victorian church, the petitioners had made out a good case for the proposed works, and he granted a faculty.

The church is situated in an area which floods regularly. In 2014, severe flooding had damaged the wood block flooring of the Grade I listed church. It was proposed to replace the wood block flooring with stone laid over insulation and with underfloor heating. The architects on the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not favour the type of insulation ("Celotex") proposed by the church architect. After considering the advice of the architects and advice from a Chartered Civil Engineer, the Chancellor granted a faculty for the works as proposed by the church architect.

The petitioners wished to install two closed circuit television ("CCTV") cameras in the church and a recorder in the vestry, to enable the church to be left open during the day. The Commissary General granted a faculty (subject to conditions) and set out in her judgment the principles and guidelines to be followed in respect of future applications for the installation of CCTV equipment.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for (a) the removal of six rows of pews and (b) new flooring, as Phase 1 of proposals to create some consistency in floor levels and provide more circulation space at the west end of the church.

The proposal was for an extension to the church. The Diocesan Advisory Committee and the Church Buildings Council had reservations about the use of space for the various facilities proposed for the extension. The Chancellor was satisfied that the proposed arrangement of the facilities in the extension offered an appropriate solution to meeting the needs of the parish.

The petition proposed an extensive program of reordering. The Victorian Society became a party to the proceedings, opposed to the proposals for upholstered chairs and carpet in the nave. The Chancellor granted a Faculty. He was not prusaded by the argument of the Victorian Society that persuaded that carpet in the Grade II building would cause the damaging ‘domestication’ of the interior. With regard to the upholstered chairs, he concluded that 'the choice of chair will inflict some modest harm on the visual aesthetics of the building, but ... this parish has demonstrated a benefit which will outweigh the harm.'

This was a determination of two petitions relating to: a new boiler and changes to the heating system; new lighting and power systems; redecoration; reordering of the chancel; changes to the south door; and disposal of chancel furniture. The Chancellor granted a faculty on the basis that "and the harm to the significance of the building caused by removal of furniture and fittings is outweighed by the liturgical freedom created, and the public benefit to be gained by having a flexible area to utilise for worship and other diverse activities".

There was a proposal to remove the pews from the side aisles, with a view to replacing them in due course with new seats. In the meantime there were some plastic seats in the church, which could be placed in the side aisles when a large congregation was expected. The Chancellor was concerned that no detailed proposals had been presented in respect of replacement chairs. He granted a faculty for the removal of the side aisle pews, subject to conditions that the existing plastic chairs should not be left in the side aisles when not needed, and that the petitioners should by the end of 2019 put forward detailed proposals for replacement chairs.