Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Re Emmanuel Leckhampton [2014] June Rodgers Ch. (Gloucester)

The PCC arranged to sell at auction a painting of the Madonna and Child, by a German painter, Franz Ittenback (1813-1979) at a reserve of £3,000. It was sold for £20.000 to a dealer, who spent a considerable amount on restoring it before it came to the attention of the Archdeacon that the painting had been sold without the authority of a Faculty. The PCC then sought a Confirmatory Faculty. In a long judgment the Chancellor sets out the law relating to objects belonging to churches and the obligations of churchwardens, and explains that no title can pass when an object such as the painting is sold without the authority of a Faculty. The Church Buildings Council objected to the sale. The Chancellor determined that the reasons for granting a Confirmatory Faculty outweighed the reasons for not doing so.

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