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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2022 judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022



There were to petitions. The first related to the construction of a new church hall linked to the south porch; removal of internal draught lobby; external lighting; tree felling, landscaping and signage. The second sought the necessary authorisation for the Petitioners (the Incumbent and Churchwardens) to enter into a contract with the Diocese of Southwark for the transfer of a small piece of land to the south west of the church building which was required for part of the proposed new structure. The Victorian Society objected to the new hall being constructed so close to the Grade II church, but was not a party opponent. The Deputy Chancellor determined that a Faculty should be granted.

The incumbent and churchwardens sought a faculty to authorise the repair of a section of collapsed wall between the churchyard and two adjoining properties. One of the adjoining owners objected on the ground that work should not be done without work on the roots of some adjacent trees. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the wall needed repairing. If there was a tree preservation order in place, which required a further consent from the local authority for removal of the trees (should that be required), then a further faculty may be needed. The Chancellor expressed the hope that the parties could resolve their differences regarding the trees.

The cemetery has two lodges. One has been used for many years as a private residence, and the other as Council offices. The land on which the lodges were built is not consecrated, but the immediately adjacent land used as garden is consecrated. The local Council wished to sell both lodges for use as private residences with gardens. The Chancellor determined that the consecrated pieces of land to be used as gardens (which contained a number of recorded burials, but none within the last 100 years) could not lawfully be sold by the Council, but the Chancellor was willing to grant a faculty to authorise the granting of licences by the Council for the two pieces of land to be used as gardens.

A bench had been introduced into the churchyard in 2002 to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee. In June 2021 the bench had been painted in rainbow colours, without consent, by a small group of people intending to show support for the National Health Service, in view of the association of the rainbow with the NHS, which had arisen during the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. The priest-in-charge sought a confirmatory faculty to retain the bench as painted. The Chancellor was not persuaded by the arguments for retention of the rainbow colours. He refused to grant a faculty and ordered that the bench should be re-painted or re-stained as soon as possible: "I have to consider the legal situation regarding this bench and also the thoughts, feelings and emotions of all users of the churchyard, not just those who support the significant change that was carried out without permission".

A faculty had been granted for three trees to be removed from the churchyard. The contractor responsible for the work removed two trees which had not been covered by the faculty. The incumbent and churchwardens made an application for a confirmatory faculty to approve the felling of the two trees. The contractor was joined as a party. Aside from the mistake, the Chancellor was concerned that the contractor had been unfamiliar with the faculty process and he emphasised the need for those carrying out works in churchyards to be conversant with the requirements of the faculty jurisdiction. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to the contractor planting replacement trees and also paying the costs occasioned by the proceedings.

The Chancellor considered two petitions relating to the disused burial ground of Holy Trinity Church Hull, now Hull Minster. The proposals related to part of the burial ground being used for widening of the A63 main road in Hull at a difficult junction, and included the excavation of human remains; analysis of a large sample of the remains; the reinterment of the remains; the re-siting of memorials; rebuilding of the boundary wall of the burial ground; and landscaping. There was one objection from a lady whose forbears were buried in the part of the burial ground which would be affected by the road-widening. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made out in terms of public benefit and authorised the issue of the faculties sought.

In 2007 the Parochial Church Council passed a resolution implementing a policy of restricting the interment of ashes in the closed churchyard to those of people on the electoral roll at their death and whose names has been on the roll continuously for at least the last ten years; also that no further memorial stones should be permitted. The petitioner wished to have his wife's cremated remains interred in a new plot and a memorial plaque placed over the plot. The petitioner's wife had been on the electoral roll for three years, but the family had worshipped at the church for many years and members of the family were buried in the churchyard, with the burials marked by memorials. The Chancellor stated that the PCC's policy could not override his discretion and granted a faculty for the interment and memorial.

The proposals were for a major re-ordering of the churchyard, which included the removal of a section of the 19th century churchyard wall included in the Grade I listing of the church, the creation of a piazza with seating and a new parking area. The reason for the proposed removal of a section of the wall was to open the church up to the adjoining public square, so as to allow for greater community use of the square and churchyard. The Victorian Society objected strongly to the removal of the wall, but did not wish to be a party opponent. Looking at the wider context of a growing church and a developing and culturally growing city, the Chancellor determined that the significant potential benefits of the scheme to the church and community would outweigh the moderate loss which would be caused by the development.

This judgment is supplemental to the judgments in two earlier faculty applications relating to a project by Highways England ("HE") to widen the highway next to the churchyard. The first faculty, allowed for archaeological works to be carried out in that part of the churchyard required for road-widening. The second faculty allowed for landscaping works to be carried out. In addition, HE had been given licence to occupy part of the churchyard, but the licence had expired in March 2021. Since then, HE had been carrying out further preliminary groundworks not covered by the licence. They now sought an interim faculty to continue with works under a Development Consent Order, pending the completion of a Pastoral Scheme to transfer the land to HE. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The church is surrounded on three sides by iron railings with a bar at the top surmounted by finials in the shape of a fleur-de-lys. In 2014 a child climbed the fence in an attempt to recover a frisbee, which had flown into the churchyard. The child slipped and impaled his head on one of the finials, causing damage to his jaw. The PCC sought to remove the risk of another similar incident by seeking permission to place a bar across the tops of the finials. Notwithstanding that the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not approve the proposal, but suggested alternatives, the Chancellor granted a faculty.