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Reordering

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The proposal was to remove the worn Victorian tiles at the west end of the nave, apart from those around the font, and to replace them with Cadeby limestone paving to match the paving laid to replace the Victorian tiles in the remainder of the nave 20 years previously, when the Parochial Church Council was unable to replace all the tiles in the nave. Heritage England and the Victorian Society objected. The Chancellor was satisfied that any harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest would not be serious, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

The hearing in this case was supplemental to a faculty application determined by a hearing in January 2015 (see Re St. James the Apostle Islington [2015]), when the Chancellor granted a faculty for works to (inter alia) the chancel of the church. The present application also contained matters relating to the chancel. Two objectors in this case raised objections to the lighting only. The Chancellor ruled that the objections related only to procedural irregularities and not to the merits of the proposals. He therefore granted a faculty for all the additional works.

The Chancellor granted a faculty, firstly, to give retrospective approval to the internal redecoration of the church already carried out and, secondly, to permit the disposal of miscellaneous artefacts from the church, including a bier, a 'spare' reredos, a number of redundant pews and a side altar. The Chancellor dealt with the matter by written representations, rather than by a hearing, as he considered that none of the items could be described as a 'church treasure'.

There was an unopposed petition for re-ordering, including removing an existing extension on the north side of the church and constructing a spacious hallway, welcome area, toilets and store connected to the church through a new doorway into the narthex. Applying the criteria laid down in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2013] Fam 158, the Chancellor determined that any harm to the Grade II listed building would be slight, and accordingly granted a Faculty.

This was an application for a faculty to install a stained glass window in the Grade II church in memory of the late husband of the church organist. The deceased had been a farmer, and the design (recommended by the Diocesan Advisory Committee) included "two doves and an owl, a small figure in silhouette, possibly sowing in a broadcast fashion, and a donkey and rabbit, with a tree in leaf and on the branches the words: ‘Lord make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred let me sow love’". The Church Buildings Council was of the opinion that this design would not sit well with the other stained glass windows, depicting single figures in a more traditional design. However, the Chancellor determined to grant a faculty. There was a memorial inscription on the proposed window. The Chancellor did not consider that he had to treat an application for a memorial window in the same way as an application for a memorial in church (i.e., the deceased had made some outstanding contribution to the life of the church, the community or the nation).

The petition proposed various reordering works to the Grade II church, including work on galleries and staircases and the provision of a lift and meeting rooms; and the sale of a painting from around 1600. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for reordering works, and that the public benefit would outweigh such harm as would be occasioned to the building. He granted a faculty or the items of reordering, but reserved judgment on the sale of the painting pending further representations, including as to whether there should be an open court hearing.

The Petitioners wished to remove four pews, two from each side of the main aisle of the church nave, in order to provide a larger space for nave communions and village events, such as concerts. The Chancellor decided that any harm to the significance of the Grade II* listed building by the proposed removal would be ‘low’, but he only authorised the removal of three of the pews, as he considered that the removal of the fourth pew would provide very little extra space.

A faculty was sought for major re-ordering of an unlisted Victorian church, including relocation of the font, replacement of pews with chairs, re-flooring, new kitchen and toilets and relocation of a screen. The Church Buildings Council and the Diocesan Advisory Committee approved the proposals, and Historic England supported the Victorian Society, who approved the proposals subject to agreed amendments. A faculty was granted.

The petitioners wished to remove the church pews and replace them with ICS stacking chairs of solid oak with an oak veneered plywood seat and back. The Victoria Society objected to the proposal, but was not a party opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that a very low degree of harm to the church would result from the removal of the pews, which would be substantially outweighed by the public benefit that would be achieved by their replacement. He accordingly granted a faculty.

The petition proposed the reordering of the west end of the church, including: adding a ceiling to the vestry; replacing the current extension with a larger extension containing two toilets and baby-changing facilities; removing one row of pews in the nave; and removing two pews under the organ gallery and installing in their stead a servery/kitchenette and seating area; and works in the south aisle by way of the repositioning of an effigy. The Georgian Society and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings objected to the removal of two pews from under the organ gallery. The Chancellor was satisfied that any harm caused by the proposed works to the church’s special significance was only moderate, and he granted a faculty.