Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Re St. Lawrence Wootton [2014] Court of Arches (Winchester)

An appeal by the Church Buildings Council against the decision of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Winchester to allow the sale of the Wootton Helmet, a 15th century Flemish Armet currently on loan to the Royal Armouries. Appeal allowed. "Whether one looks to the existence of “special reasons”, or, as we have held to be preferable, one simply looks at the matter in the round to see whether the grounds for sale are sufficiently compelling to outweigh the strong presumption against disposal by any form of sale, we are satisfied that this petition should be dismissed. The armet is a national asset with historic links to the parish and there is no proven financial case for its sale. Little if any weight should attach to the fact that it has been physically out of the church, and therefore outside the parish, for many years."

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