Judgment Search

Reordering

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Petition for the removal of box pews, installation of new flooring and under-floor heating, WCs, a kitchen, and removal of the font. The whole project was dependent on the removal of the box pews. Faculty granted.

The petitioners (the Rector, a Churchwarden and the PCC Secretary) sought a faculty to authorise the removal of three pews from the east end of the nave, two on the south side and one on the north side, in order to provide space for those with wheelchairs, for instrumentalists and singers, for a projector and screen on the south side. and to give more space for those attending wedding couples. The Chancellor determined that the modest harm to the character of the church would be outweighed by the clear and significant public benefit flowing from the proposal.

The Rector and fellow petitioners applied for the Victorian church organ to be declared redundant and removed, whilst retaining the decorative front row of pipes between the chancel and the vestry behind. The description of works in the Statement of Needs decribed the works slightly differently by saying that the organ should be placed on the Redundant Organ List of the Institute of British Organ Builders ("IBO"). A report from the Church Buildings Council recommended that the organ was of sufficient quality to merit its relocation as a complete instrument and that it should be placed on the IBO list. The Deputy Chancellor declared that the organ was redundant and that the complete organ shall be put on the IBO list for a minimum of six months. He also directed that amended plans be prepared for the division of the chancel from the vestry using oak panelling.

The petition proposed: 'Conversion of the altar table in the Lady Chapel to serve also as a chest of drawers suitable for storage of vestments.  Four oak faced panels applied from behind the existing table frames and stretchers will cover the front and ends of the table to ensure that the drawers will not be visible on the infrequent occasions when the altar is stripped'. The Chancellor determined that the conversion of the altar into a chest of drawers would be in breach of Canon F2, which requires that 'The table, as becomes the table of the Lord, shall be kept in a sufficient and seemly manner ...' He therefore refused to grant a faculty.

Faculty granted for the sale to the National Maritime Museum of two flags taken from the Battle of Trafalgar, one a Union Flag from HMS Minotaur, the other an Austrian ensign believed to have been taken from the Spanish ship Neptuno.

The petitioners wished to erect an octagonal extension with a link to the existing north door of the church to provide facilities for a clergy vestry, a meeting room with mezzanine, 2 WCs (including one for disabled), a kitchenette, choir robe store and general storage. This would involve building over graves and the moving of four upright stones and four kerb sets. Objections were received from six people whose family graves would be affected by the proposals. Faculty granted. Chancellor: "... in my judgment the petitioners have demonstrated a clear need for the proposed extension and I am satisfied from all the information available that the nature, design and location of the building are all entirely appropriate and fulfil the intended purpose. It is a matter of regret that established grave sites and markers will be affected by the erection of the new building, but I have reached the conclusion that the proposed extension is necessary if the mission and functioning of the church is to be maintained and developed and that the benefits for the church and for all who use it outweigh the adverse impact on the grave sites."

Faculty granted for votive candle stand. Judgment contains a discussion as to the legality of the use of votive candles in church.

The proposed reordering works included removal of some pews; alterations to the low wall between nave and chancel; creation of storage units in the Berkeley Chapel; raised platform in front of the choir and new nave altar; display cabinets near font; servery; toilets; glazing of tower arch and a new screen wall in front of the tower. The main object was to provide a more welcoming and useful space, especially for large gatherings. There were several objectors to the proposals, but no parties opponent. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty for all the works.

In 2016 the Chancellor of the Diocese of Chester granted a faculty for the proposed new church centre. An application was subsequently made by the objectors to the Chancery Court of York for leave to appeal. By an Order dated 20 December 2016, the Auditor of the Chancery Court gave leave to appeal on only one of the grounds put forward by the objectors. The appeal to the Chancery Court of York was later withdrawn as the result of a Consent Order.

In 2015 a petition was presented in the Diocese of Chester, seeking permission to construct a new church centre at Upton St. Mary at a cost of £1.6m. This would involve the demolition of an adjacent hall. There were objections. On 30 November 2015 the Chancellor gave an interim judgment dealing with the question of whether the adjacent building was within the curtilage of the church. The Chancellor concluded that it was, and so it was within his jurisdiction. For the chancellor's full judgment, see Re St. Mary Upton [2016] ECC Chr 3.