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Reordering

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A proposed reordering of the church included: removal of all the pews from the nave and side aisles; creation of a raised level floor throughout with underfloor heating; creation of 'pods' within the south and north aisles to house an office, kitchen and meeting room space above and chair storage; four WCs; relocation of the font; glazing in of the south transept chapel; glazed draught lobby. There were local objections and objections from some of the amenity societies. The Victorian Society made a formal objection. They objected to the pods, the removal of the pews, the raising of the floor, the impact loss of the removal of the chancel step, the underfloor heating above the columbarium , the glazing of the memorial chapel. The Chancellor granted a faculty: ‘I have, of course, considered the St Alkmund, Duffield test.  Are these “exceptional circumstances” where the public benefit outweighs the level of harm … It is with a somewhat heavy heart that I have to find that the needs of the parish and its current congregation are such that that test is made out.’

The petition proposed a major reordering, the controversial items of which were the removal of the pews and their replacement with upholstered chairs on a carpeted floor, and the removal of the choir stalls. The Chancellor was satisfied that a sufficient case had been made for the proposed works and granted a faculty.

The petition proposed the demolition of an unlisted Victorian church building and its replacement with a multi-purpose church centre and hall. The original brick church was completed in 1878 and enlarged with a sandstone chancel and vestries added and completed in 1897. The Chancellor determined that the future of the church's mission and its congregation would best be served by a new building, rather than by adapting and maintaining a building which would involve high maintenance costs in the future, if retained. Accordingly, a faculty was granted.

Faculty granted for the installation of an electronic organ to replace a pipe organ in an unlisted 1930s church.

The church of St Richard, Crowborough, within the parish of All Saints Crowborough, dates from 1956 and is unlisted. It is a utilitarian building serving as both a chapel and a community hall. The petitioners sought a faculty to carry out the following work, in order to make the church more suitable for furthering mission to the local community, particularly to young children: removal of timber stage to create more storage space; replacement of exterior sign and notice board; replacement of chairs; fitting of new suspended ceiling; replacement of windows with UPVC double glazed units. Two people gave notice of objection, but did not wish to be parties to the proceedings. In granting the faculty, the Chancellor said: "I am satisfied that the works proposed to this unremarkable and utilitarian building are unobjectionable. The petitioners have discharged the burden of demonstrating that the proposals, including the removal of the stage, are desirable, if the effective ministry of this small but vibrant church community is to realise its potential."

The Commissary General granted a faculty to replace the existing cupboard, worktop, sink, tap and water heater in the Vestry.

The vicar and churchwardens sought a faculty to reorder the west end of the church by extending the west gallery to the north and west aisles, to introduce an accessible WC below the north-west corner of the extended gallery and enhance the existing catering facilities and musicians’ area. They also proposed introducing speakers into the chancel and the making good of tiles in the floor at the front of the church. The Victorian Society was a party opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that "any prejudice to the architectural integrity is outweighed by the pastoral and liturgical benefits and applying the balance of probabilities the Petitioners have made out their case." He accordingly granted a faculty.

The petition contained a number of items including proposals for lighting inside and outside the church. A parishioner objected to the proposed lighting of the spire on the ground that it would cause a lot of light pollution. The petitioners responded that they had taken their architect's advice and also that of a specialist lighting consultant and as a result they are looking to use modern LED type lights which minimise light pollution by focusing the light to specific areas and thereby minimising spill and light pollution. The Chancellor was also aware of a recent visit by an officer of the planning department, who had recommended the fixing of the external light sources on the stonework, rather than on poles, and had not raised any concerns about light pollution. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made their case and granted a faculty.

In 2005 pews had been removed from the side aisles of the church and had been replaced with chairs upholstered with a blue fabric. Also, carpet tiles in two contrasting blue colours had been laid in a chequer-board pattern in the aisles. The petitioners now wished to lay similar carpet tiles and introduce more upholstered chairs into the nave, to create 'a more flexibe space'. (There was also a proposal to update the heating.) The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the pews and further carpet tiles, but was not a party opponent. In spite of slight reservations about the blue colour of the carpet tiles, the Chancellor concluded that the scheme would "give a more unified appearance and will serve the aims that the petitioners seek to achieve." He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Thomas Charlton [2017] ECC Win 2 The petitioners wished to install an audio visual system in the body of the unlisted church, with a motorised screen located behind the chancel arch, a projector mounted on a roof cross beam and cabling to the rear of the church to a control location. There were two written objections on the grounds that (a) the equipment would be intrusive, and (b) the PCC could not afford the cost of the works. The Chancellor considered that the benefit of improved communication technology being introduced outweighed the general presumption that change should not be permitted. He accordingly granted a faculty.