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Reordering

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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.

Re-ordering proposals included the provision of a meeting room (with glass front); servery and toilet facilities; a gallery above the proposed meeting room; an upgrading of the heating and lighting installations; and moving both the font and war memorials to new locations within the Church to accommodate the works. The guidelines in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2013] were considered. A Faculty was granted.

There was a major program of reordering, including an extension to the church, which would necessitate moving the font. The Chancellor granted a faculty, notwithstanding that the font would no longer be as near to the principal entrance as it could otherwise conveniently be.

The Faculty Petition requested authority for a major re-ordering, to include moving the middle section of the rood screen and replacing of all the pews with stacking chairs. Faculty refused for moving the middle section of the rood screen, but Faculty granted for all other works, including the replacement of the pews with chairs. Although there were several objections, and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Victorian Society were parties opponent, the Chancellor was able to determine the matter by written representations.

Various items of reordering were proposed, including the replacement of the pews and pew platforms with high quality pew benches and a new stone floor with under-floor heating. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the red and black machine made quarry tiles in the central aisle. There were also reservations from consultees regarding whether the ledger memorial stones in the nave floor should remain where they were, as part of the new scheme, or be moved elsewhere. The Chancellor granted a faculty for all the works, including the removal of the Victorian quarry tiles, subject, to the ledger stones remaining in their pre-reordering positions.

A faculty was sought for the disposal of: 4 short free-standing modem oak pews (circa 1967); 3 desks; a portable altar and communion rail;  2 old 'Glastonbury' style sanctuary chairs; a wooden cross; 2 wooden candlesticks; 11 standards and their metal wall fixings. The Diocesan Advisory Committe and the Church Buildings Council both supported the disposals. The Chancellor decided that none of the items was a "church treasure", which would justify him in holding a formal hearing. Faculty granted.

Faculty granted for removal of Victorian choir stalls and replacement with light oak, upholstered choir pews, which would have the flexibility to be used for services in the chancel for small congregations.

Two matters were before the Chancellor: (1) an application for a confirmatory faculty in respect of a sound system installed without faculty in 1997; (2) an application by the Archdeacon for a restoration order in respect of lighting installed in the west porch in 2015 without faculty. The Chancellor's decisions were as follows: (1) faculty to be granted for the sound system, subject to conditions, including the replacement of the old sound speakers with new speakers in different locations; (2) a decision on the application for a restoration order in respect of the lighting to be deferred for 36 days, to allow time for a faculty petition to be presented.