Judgment Search

Reordering

Display:

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.

There was a proposal to install a ringing floor and stairs in the church tower. The reason for the application was that the choir and ringers had to share the same space in the tower before services for robing and ringing. The Chancellor was satisfied that the project would result in distinct advantages and accordingly granted a faculty.

The petition proposed various items as the second phase of a reordering project. The main items were: the creation of a servery built on to the north wall at the west end of the church; removal of seven rows of pews at the west end of the church; and removal of two rows of pews at the front of the nave to allow an extension to the existing dais. The Victorian Society and Historic England had reservations about the works, but the Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made an adequate case for the proposed works: " ... I find that the petitioners have proved to me to the necessary degree that the moderate harm that will be caused to the significance of this church as a building of special architectural or historic interest is justified by the need demonstrated."

In July 2013 the Chancellor granted of a faculty authorising works in respect of the stonework, stained glass, and wall paintings at the church. The Church Buildings Council had advised against the proposed work to the stained glass without a detailed conservation report. The faculty granted in July 2013 was subject to a condition that no work should be carried out to the stained glass unless and until a report was first prepared and approved by the Chancellor. A report had now been produced, in which the options given were to replace the broken pieces of glass with similar modern glass, or to insert strapping to support the original damaged glass. The Chancellor decided that the former option was appropriate. The window concerned was one of four matching windows, and new pieces of glass would retain an appearance similar to the other windows, whereas strapping would detract from the appearance of the window, especially as it was part of a set.

The Petitioners sought a faculty for repairs to the stone work,together with repairs to the stained glass and works of conservation in relation to the wall paintings. The Diocesan Advisory Committee recommended the proposals and the Victorian Society had no objection. The Church Buildings Council advised against the proposed work to the stained glass without a detailed conservation report. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to a condition that no work should be carried out to the stained glass (in a window damaged by missiles from outside) unless and until a report was first prepared and approved by the Chancellor.

The chancel of the church is only used for daily prayer and for fortnightly coffee mornings. The works proposed were the introduction of radiators and additional carpeting, to make the chancel more comfortable on the occasions when it is used. It was also proposed to create a new bell-ringing floor in the tower, in order to create a disabled toilet and kitchen at the base of the tower. There were letters of objection from two bell-ringers in respect of this item. The Chancellor decided that any impact on the bell-ringers should not outweigh the benefits of providing appropriate toilet and refreshment facilities. He accordingly granted a faculty.