Judgment Search

Reordering

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A faculty was sought to allow the introduction into the Abbey of a diptych, one part of which portrays St. Ethelflaeda, one of the patron saints of the Abbey; the other part of the diptych depicts a candlestick. The Statement of Significance submitted by the Petitioners said that the painting was designed “to be challenging and controversial”, and to encourage “members of the congregation and visitors alike to contemplate the serenity of the abbess’s face and reflect on our own faith and spirituality”. There were 15 objectors, who did not become parties opponent. Objections included: the painting lacks artistic merit; it does not “enhance or beautify the Abbey in any way” and is “ugly”; “The ‘Saint’ is sinister and anatomically impossible and the candlestick, as often commented… looks like a giraffe neck”; the painting is not edifying/spiritually beneficial; it is “dark and disturbing”, “grotesque” ... and “raises nothing but horror”; it detracts from the architecture of the Abbey. The Chancellor decided to grant a faculty: "those who find the painting beautiful, helpful and spiritually uplifting can continue to benefit from its presence, and it can continue to play a part in the Abbey’s outreach and mission. Those who are disturbed or displeased by it need not dwell on its presence.  It seems to me that the Abbey is a large enough space, physically and spiritually, to accommodate both camps."

Faculty granted for the removal of a pew platform and four pews from the west end of the church, the Chancellor being satisfied that there were "compelling justifications on the basis of liturgical freedom, pastoral well-being and putting the church to other viable uses consistent with its sacred character."

Appeal allowed against the refusal by the Chancellor of the Diocese to grant a Faculty to authorise the relocation of the chancel screen.

The judgment relates to two faculty petitions, both relating to re-ordering. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for the removal of the chancel screen. The judgment contains a detailed discussion of the theological and doctrinal arguments put forward at the hearing.

Faculty granted for re-ordering, including the creation of a complex of buildings for youth related activities, and removal and disposal of pews from the south aisle.

The petitioners wished, amongst other proposals for re-ordering, to remove the choir stalls from the chancel and level the floor, and also remove the Victorian chancel screen, in order to make the church more adaptable for worship, concerts and other uses. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the chancel screen. Faculty granted.

An appeal by the Victorian Society against the decision of the Chancellor of the Diocese of Rochester to allow the removal from the church of a Victorian eight bay screen by Bodley & Garner and its reinstallation in a church in Leicestershire, which would necessitate the reduction of the screen by two bays. Appeal dismissed.

Faculty granted for extensive re-ordering, including removal of pews, new internal entrance lobby, moving of the font to a new position and introduction of a new sound reinforcement system.

The proposals included a dais, extending the chancel outwards beyond the choir and into the nave; removal of the back rows of choir stalls and re-positioning of the front rows; carpet for the dais and choir area; a portable altar and communion rails; alterations to the chancel arch; making the Lady chapel pews free-standing; and the removal of pews from the south aisle, to create a children's area. After considering the guidance given in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2013], the Chancellor granted a faculty.

Faculty granted for various items of re-ordering, including moving from the chancel (but not removal from the church) of some choir stalls given in 1931 in memory of Emmeline Pankhurst.