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Reordering

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The faculty petition proposed the disposal of a wooden lectern. The petitioning churchwarden stated that the lectern was not being used, was unlikely to be used again, and was merely taking up space. The lectern bore an inscription to say that it had been given by a significant benefactor of the church in memory of her brother, who was a priest, but who had spent no part of his ministry in the parish. He had died in 1925. The Church Buildings Council recommended that, ‘as a good furnishing that has a long association with the church, this should be retained. The Council recognised it was redundant in terms of use but deemed it to be a high quality item and of interest as a memorial.’ The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty.

The proposals were for a major re-ordering. The local authority objected to one aspect of the scheme, namely the removal and burial of the existing font. Historic England expressed a reservation about the proposals for the new font. Neither objector wished to be a party opponent. The Chancellor came to the conclusion that the better course in this particular case would be to place the old font into storage, and a faculty for the re-ordering scheme was granted on this basis. The judgment contains a review of recent decisions relating to the disposal of fonts.

The petition proposed several items of reordering. The only contentious item was the removal of the Victorian font, which had not been used for many years. A Georgian font in the church is normally used for baptisms, owing to lack of sufficient space for families around the Victorian font. Following the removal of the font it was proposed to use the space as an area for children. The Victorian font would be placed either outside the church, or alternatively an offer could be accepted for it to be stored in Maxstoke Castle. Historic England and the Victorian Society did not favour placing the font in the churchyard, but they did not become parties opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but required evidence to be obtained as to whether the placing of the font in the churchyard would result in severe damage due to weathering, in which case the Chancellor would direct that the font be stored in Maxstoke Castle.

Faculty granted for WC and buffet bar in the north-west corner of the church, even though the work would result in a restricted view of a stained glass window.

The petition proposed an extensive re-ordering of the church, including an extension to the north side of the church, to house WCs and a room for boilers; glazed doors for the porch; a new floor with underfloor heating; replacement of pews with chairs; re-siting of the rood screen and font; replacing the organ; new lighting; and creating a new kitchen with meeting room over it. The acting Deputy Chancellor approved the proposals, except for outer glazed doors to the porch (whilst allowing inner glazed doors), the creation of a meeting room above the new kitchen, and the introduction of steel framed chairs with wooden seats and backs, but indicating that he would approve all-wood stacking chairs.

The petition contained substantial reordering proposals for the Grade I listed church, including new heating; an audio-visual system; electrical works; replacement of pews with chairs; disposal of the pulpit; relocation of the choir stalls and organ; and works to the floor. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Since 2000, the church of St. Michael (now annexed to St. Mary the Great) has undergone major reordering to create a cafe and meeting rooms in the nave, with the chancel left as a worship area separated from the nave by a glass screen. The church now sought a faculty to remove the remaining pews from the chancel, raise the floor level and replace the pews with Howe 40/4 seats, to enable the building to be used more effectively for the community which the church serves. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of Victorian fittings. The Chancellor determined that there was a strong justification for carrying out the proposals and granted a faculty.

The petitioners sought a faculty to remove four pews from the west end of the nave beneath the gallery, the doors and panelling to be salvaged for reuse; to introduce a new disabled accessible WC into the north-west corner, new cupboards into the south-west corner, and a kitchen into the base of the tower; to introduce a new upper floor into the tower with a balustrade to the west window and a new access door in the tower arch partition; to introduce a new foul drainage system on the site of the former underground boiler-house in the north-west re-entrant angle; and to reduce the base of the font by removing one step. The Georgian Group became a party opponent, objecting to the removal of some box pews to allow a disabled toilet to be built. The Chancellor granted a faculty: " ... although there will be a small loss to this historical and architectural heritage asset, the loss will be far outweighed by the benefit to the community."

The proposal was to install heated pew runners to all pews. There were four objectors, who did not wish to become parties opponent. The Chancellor found no substance in the objections and granted a faculty.

Various items of re-ordering were proposed. The Victorian Society objected to the extension and alteration of the porch to provide a disabled access toilet (a new entrance lobby to be created). A parishioner objected to the proposed cupboards for the south transept and the placing of an altar at the southern end of the St. Thomas's Chapel in the south transept. Neither the Victorian Society nor the parishioner became a party opponent. Faculty granted.