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Reordering

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The 2010 Faculty for reordering was amended to allow for certain consequential works, which included approval for the remodelling of the pulpit steps.

The Petitioner sought permission to move the font to a position in an area immediately to the west side of the main entrance to the church in the north wall and to remove three pews and install a redundant choir stall frontal in order to create a Baptistery area around the repositioned font. (This was a different proposal to the one contained in the 2010 petition for reordering.) The Chancellor decided to grant a faculty, as the proposal would fit in with and complement the changes for which permission had already been given.

In 2011 the petitioners applied for approval (which was granted) for the remodelling of the pulpit steps, having been refused in 2010 a faculty for the removal of the pulpit. They now applied for permission to permanently remove the pulpit from the church. The pulpit had in fact already been removed from the church in 2012 without authority. Reminding the petitioners of the rule of law, and that the removal of the pulpit was unlawful, the Chancellor determined that the arguments for removing the pulpit had not changed since 2010, when he refused to grant a faculty for the removal of the pulpit, and accordingly he now refused again to grant a faculty for its removal.

In 2011, the Archdeacon granted a licence for temporary re-ordering, which included removal of the nave and choir pews to storage. In 2012 a faculty petition sought authority for this arrangement to be made permanent. The Chancellor authorised the permanent removal of the nave pews, but decided that, to give further time for experimentation, consideration of the permanent removal of the choir pews should be deferred and be the subject of a petition at a later date, if the petitioners still wished the choir pews not to be restored to the choir.

In 2011, the Archdeacon granted a licence for temporary re-ordering, which included removal of the nave and choir pews to storage. In 2012 a faculty petition sought authority for this arrangement to be made permanent. The Chancellor authorised the permanent removal of the nave pews, but decided that, to give further time for experimentation, consideration of the permanent removal of the choir pews should be deferred and be the subject of a petition at a later date, if the petitioners still wished the choir pews not to be restored to the choir. In 2015 a petition proposed returning the choir pews, but to the Lady Chapel, instead of to the choir. Faculty granted. 

The Chancellor decided that the proposed new wall-to-wall carpet and the 'bland', black chairs were inappropriate for a Grade II* and important Victorian church in the centre of Brighton, but he granted a limited licence for five years, requiring the petitioners at the end of such period to produce more appropriate long-term proposals.

The petition proposed the formation of a new meeting room/children’s area, enclosed by timber and glass; removal of some pews in the nave, the nave aisle and the south aisle, and their replacement with chairs; lowering the raised pew platforms in these areas; disposal of a timber screen to the St. John’s Chapel; and alterations to heating and electrical systems, including the replacement of the existing boiler with a new oil fired boiler. There was one party opponent, objecting to the removal of some of the pews and to the meeting room. The Deputy Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had provided sufficient justification for the works and granted a faculty. As regards costs, the Deputy Chancellor determined that the party opponent had behaved unreasonably in certain aspects of the proceedings and directed that the party opponent should reimburse the petitioners 50% of the court costs attributable to the progression of the case to an oral hearing and 50% of the petitioners' inter partes costs, namely their counsel's fees.

The petitioners sought a faculty to authorise the movement of the altar westwards by 60cm to increase the amount of space behind the altar for celebrating the Eucharist. Applying the tests laid down in Re St Alkmund’s Duffield [2013], the Deputy Chancellor took the view that the proposals would not cause any harm to the church as a building of special architectural and historic significance, and accordingly granted a faculty.

The petitioners sought a faculty for the construction of a parish room (by way of extension) to the south of the church. Two neighbours and another parishioner objected, though there were no objections from the local planning authority (who in fact granted planning consent) or the amenity societies. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

An extensive reordering was proposed for a Grade II listed Victorian church. The Victorian Society and Heritage England, though not parties opponent, objected to the replacement of most of the pews with chairs, replacement of the dado panelling and replacement of the stone and wood floor with new wooden flooring. The Chancellor determined that the resulting public benefit (including liturgical freedom, pastoral well-being, opportunities for mission, and putting the church to viable uses that were consistent with its role as a place of worship and mission) would outweigh any harm that would be caused by the changes.