Judgment Search

Reordering

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The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise the removal of a number of pews from the front of the nave of the unlisted church building, in order to allow greater flexibility of use of the church, subject to the condition that the pews should be stored in a part of the church, with liberty to apply for them to be removed permanently, if the experiment proved successful.

The Team Rector and churchwardens sought a confirmatory faculty for the retention of a nave altar, which had been in use since a reordering of the interior of the church in 2013/2014. The nave altar had been made from the wood of the choir stalls, which had been removed as part of the reordering. The Diocesan Advisory Committee objected to the retention of the altar on the grounds that it was too low (it originally had castors, which had been removed), and the surface area was too small. The Vicar General was satisfied that the surface of the altar was adequate, and he granted a confirmatory faculty subject to conditions that blocks should be placed under the legs of the altar, to raise the altar to a more appropriate height, and that the altar should at all times be covered by a Laudian fall.

The Chancellor considered two faculty petitions, the object of both being to allow the church to be used as a visitor centre as part of a heritage trail linking various historic sites in the village. The first petition related to the installation of a digital display board, to be installed on the north wall of the nave, and to be used for notices, for showing films about the history of village and as an aid to worship on appropriate occasions. The second application sought permission to install two secure moveable cabinets in the south west corner of the church and two moveable desks at the rear of the church, the cabinets to be used to store merchandise for supplies and sales to visitors, one of the desks is to be used to display information for visitors and the other to enable Manx craftspeople to sell their merchandise. The Chancellor granted two faculties.

The petition proposed an extensive reordering of the Grade II late Victorian church, which would "provide a more flexible space, improved facilities, proper disabled access, proper facilities for families and children, modern heating, modern lighting and a more attractive physical environment to develop the Parish's mission." The Chancellor granted a faculty for the proposed works, with the exception of the proposal to cover all the Victorian tiles in the nave with a wooden floor. The Chancellor stated that he would deal with the issue of the floor by way of an addendum to the judgment, after the parish had had a further opportunity to discuss the matter with the Victorian Society, who had objected to all the tiles being covered.

In 1971 there had been a major reordering of the Grade II Victorian church, which included (inter alia) a re-orientation, so that the pews (made free-standing) faced north towards a dais on which the Holy Table was positioned; the nave was also carpeted. A new major reordering was proposed, to include returning to the original orientation (east-west), replacing the carpet with tiles and replacing the pews with upholstered chairs with metal frames. The Victorian Society objected to the proposed tiles and the upholstered chairs. The Chancellor decided that the proposals were reasonable and granted a faculty. In his judgment, the Chancellor makes some comments on the second of the 'Duffield' questions and also on the status of the CBC's guidance regarding chairs.

There was an application for the permanent removal of the Victorian pulpit, which had been moved from its original position under the authority of an Archdeacon's Licence for Temporary Reordering in 2015. The Chancellor was satisfied that the harm likely to be caused by the permanent removal of the pulpit was low, and he accordingly granted a faculty. However, he pointed out that the petitioners and the Archdeacon were in breach of the Faculty Rules, which require that, where a temporary licence has been granted, the Archdeacon has a duty to inform the parish concerned that the licence is due to expire and to require them to make an application for a faculty, if apppropriate; also an application for a confirmatory faculty must be made by the petitioners not less than two months before the expiry of the licence, which had not been the case here. This was therefore a salutory lesson to PCCs and Archdeacons to keep records of the expiry dates of temporary licences.

The proposals included a small extension to the church to accommodate toilets and a plant room. The DAC opposed the proposals, stating that “the elevations of the proposed extension are not in proportion to the mass and scale of the church.” However, Historic England were pleased that the petitioners had followed their recommendation to reduce the size of the proposed extension, which meant that it would be more easily assimilated by the church building as a whole. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The Vicar and Churchwardens sought a confirmatory faculty for the permanent disposal of 100 kneelers already removed from the church. (At the time of removal, the consent of the Archdeacon would have been required under the then diocesan 'de minimis' rules but, since the coming into effect of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 on 1 January 2016, the consent of the Archdeacon to a disposal of kneelers would not be required.) The Chancellor saw no grounds for refusing a faculty. Faculty therefore granted.

The petitioners applied to remove and dispose of a bell which had been stored at the rear of the nave of the church for 41 years. The bell was cast by Humphrey Wilkinson, a Lincolnshire founder, in 1700. The Church Buildings Council objected. The Petitioners wished to remove the bell as it impeded the use of the rear of the Church. The Chancellor granted a faculty to allow the bell to be removed to the diocesan store for safekeeping.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for a major re-ordering, being satisfied that the benefits of the proposed works would outweigh any the harm to the significance of the Grade I listed church as a building of architectural or historic interest. The proposed works included a new kitchen and two new toilets (to replace the existing kitchen and single toilet); the replacement of the pews with chairs; and new screening for chair storage at the tower.