Neutral Citations

On 23 December 2015, the Dean of Arches issued a Practice Note requesting Diocesan Registrars to allocate a neutral citation to each Consistory Court judgment. A revised version of the original Practice Note was issued on 27 April 2016. Both Practice Notes can be downloading by clicking on these links:
Practice Note No. 1 of 2015
Practice Note No. 1 of 2016
Neutral citations are only being applied to judgments from 1 January 2016. Prior to that date, the ELA's own method of citation was used.

Those submitting judgments should not that a neutral citation number should appear in the top left corner of a judgment, in the format set out in Practice Note 1 above.

Judgments are as supplied by the relevant Diocesan Registries, but we cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent minor amendments which have not been communicated to us. Anyone wishing to quote from a judgment should check with the relevant Diocesan or Provincial Registrar that the version on this web site is the final version.

Judgment Search


Click on one of the following to view and/or download the relevant document:

Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 20 January 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site.

Judgments Recently Received


Re St. Michael & All Angels Berwick [2022] ECC Chi 3

This judgment relates to the reordering proposals considered in Re St. Michael & All Angels Berwick [2021] ECC Chi 7, when the Deputy Chancellor refused a faculty for the removal of the pews. The petitioners appealed to the Court of Arches on the grounds that the Deputy Chancellor based his decision on the erroneous assumption that the proposal was to remove all the seating in the church, including the rush-seated chairs, which was not the case. The Court of Arches granted the appeal (Re St. Michael & All Angels Berwick [2022] EACC 1) and directed that the case be remitted to the Consistory Court of Chichester to re-determine the petition. This judgement deals with matters preliminary to a re-hearing, including a challenge to the Consistory Court's power to direct a further oral hearing, questions as to costs, and directions for a new hearing.

Re St. Andrew Great Staughton [2021] ECC Ely 3

The petitioner wished to erect a memorial to her late husband. The proposal was for a honed dark grey granite stone with, in the top quarter, a pquest for the inscription to be picked out in white. A churchwarden made a formal objection. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not suppot the application. The Chancellor refused permission for the design as proposed, but said that he would agree to an etching of a surfboard only, and that he would approve the use of a stone lighter than the dark shade of granite proposed. A revised design would have to be approved by the Chancellor before a faculty issued.

Re All Saints Haslingfield [2021] ECC Ely 2

In March 2019 a stained glass window in the vestry had been removed under an emergency faculty. A confirmatory faculty was granted in July 2019. The petitioners now wished to have the window, a mixture of medieval and Victorian glass, repaired and reinstated. In a letter of objection, a former churchwarden stated that the window was an uninspiring mixture of disjointed pieces of glass, which did not befit the Grade I church, and that the pieces of glass should be put into storage for occasional display. The Chancellor saw no merit in the objector's arguments and granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary Magdalene Stilton [2021] ECC Ely 1

The Rector and Churchwardens sought premission to remove two pews from the front of the nave, to create a larger performance area, and four pews from the back of the nave, to provide a children's area. The proposals had been trialled under an archdeacon's licence for temproary reordering. After the period of the licence expired, the reordering remained in place without lawful authority. The petitioners also wished to replace the pews with chairs with blue upholstery, which had already been purchased. The Chancellor granted a faculty for twelve blue upholstered chairs to replace the front two rows of pews only. He indicated that if a further faculty was sought for more blue upholstered chairs, he would not be minded to grant one unless a more suitable colour was chosen and the existing chairs were reupholstered in the same colour.

Re Michael D. Niles, Deceased [2022] ECC Man 2

The family of Michael Niles (the deceased') moved from the UK to live in the USA when the deceased was young. For a reason not explained in the judgment, the deceased was deported several years ago to the UK. There were no members of the family in the UK. The deceased died in January 2022, and his burial was delayed for two and a half months, whilst efforts were made to trace his relatives. His body was buried in Middleton Cemetery in April 2022. The family in the USA subsequently heard about the deceased's death, and his daughter applied for a faculty to have the deceased's body exhumed and cremated, and for the ashes to be sent for burial in the USA. The Chancellor considered that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty. If the family had been aware of the deceased's death at the time, they would have had his body cremated in the UK and the ashes sent to the USA for burial, believing that this would have been the deceased's wish.

Re St. Leonard Southoe [2022] ECC Ely 4

The incumbent and churchwardens applied for a faculty to permit various items of reordering in order to provide facilities in the church for a wide range of church and community events in what is a fairly isolated village. The proposals included 2 WCs, a "kitchen pod", a new staircase and ringing floor, new cupboards, replacement of the pews with wooden unupholstered chairs, moving of the font, new underfloor heating, new flooring, new lighting, solar panels, an air source heat pump, and new water and sewage services. A local objector claimed that no detailed costings had been carried out, and he challenged the assumptions about community use. The amenity societies involved had reservations about the kitchen facilities being enclosed, because of the impact of the walls on the surrounding church fabric. The Chancellor granted a faculty, to enable the petitioners to move forward with obtaining funding, but he reserved a decision as to whether the kitchen facilities should be enclosed or not until he had visited the church and made a final decision.

Re St. Andrew Great Staughton [2022] ECC Ely 3

The Chancellor agreed to the design of a memorial stone including an etching of two sailboards against a background of the sea, but refused to permit a black stone. Reversing an early decision, he allowed the use of South African grey or Rustenburg grey stone.

Re St. Lawrence Eyam [2022] ECC Der 1

The proposals were to alter the floor levels inside and outside the south porch and adjust the doors, to improve access for those with disabilities; to create a new doorway in the north wall, as a fire escape, and to remove and dispose of the pipe organ from the place where the new fire door would be inserted, with the intention of later installing an electronic organ. There were six letters of objection, and the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend of the disposal of the organ. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the works to the porch and the new fire exit door, but he was not satisfied that it was appropriate to authorise threoe removal of the pipe organ at this stage, as possible relocation of the organ within the church had not been fully explored, nor the alternative of replacing the organ with a smaller pipe organ, and the petition did not request authority for the installation of a particular electronic organ.

Re St. Christopher Ellistown [2022] ECC Lei 2

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) proposed adding a new porch with glazed doors to provide easier access, a more welcoming entrance, and to minimise draughts. The PCC amended its original design after comments from the Ancient Monuments Society and the Victorian Society. The Chancellor was satisfied that the benefits of the proposals were of sufficient substance to outweigh any negative impact that there might be on the appearance and significance of the unlisted church.

Re Benton Cemetery [2022] ECC New 2

Owing to an administrative error on the part of the burial authority, some cremated remains had not been buried in the grave purchased by the deceased, but in a grave already containing the cremated remains of a married couple. The Chancellor determined that the exceptional circumstances justified the grant of a faculty for exhumation and reinterment.

Re All Saints Darton [2022] ECC Lee 2

The petitioner wished to place in the churchyard a horizontal memorial tablet measuring 18in. by 18 in. to mark the interment of her late husband's cremated remains. Originally, her proposal requested the inclusion of two flower holders in the tablet, and an additional hole for a 'solar stick'. She also wished to have an inscription 15 lines long. The incumbent and Parochial Church Council ("PCC") objected to the proposal. It was customary to allow only one flower holder, no solar sticks, and an inscription giving dates and a brief biblical quote or words of comfort. Following correspondence, the petitioner amended her proposal to include only one flower holder, no solar stick and an inscription 10 lines long. To accommodate and support the PCC's policy, the Chancellor settled an inscription five lines long, which he would find acceptable. He allowed the petitioner 28 days in which to decide whether to accept the inscription, in which case a faculty would be granted. If the petitioner did not accept the inscription, the petition would be dismissed.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Dedham [2022] ECC Chd 2

The church's oil-fired heating boiler, installed 35 years previously, had come to the end of its working life and spare parts were no longer available. The churchwardens sought permission to replace the boiler with a new gas boiler. The Diocesan Advisory Committee expressed its disappointment that the church had not opted for a more environmentally friendly heating system. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioners had considered the Church of England's 'Net Zero Roadmap' and the Church Building Council's guidance, and that the petitioners had also considered several alternative options, which had been discounted for various reasons, including costs, aesthetic considerations, and the potential impact of the different proposed solutions on the fabric and special character of the Grade I listed building. The Chancellor made it a condition of the faculty (inter alia) that so far as was practicable, gas supplied under a green tariff was to be used for the new system.

Re Holy Trinity Pleshey [2022] ECC Chd 1

The priest-in-charge and churchwardens sought permission to reuse for burials three specific areas of the churchyard where there were no memorials and no evidence of recent burials. The Chancellor considered that it was appropriate to grant a faculty to allow reburial, rather than have the churchyard closed for burials after the remaining space for five new graves in the currently used part of the churchyard had been filled. As it appeared that the risk of encountering human remains was greatest in area 3, the Chancellor directed that areas 1 and 2 should be used first. The Chancellor added a number of other conditions to the grant of the faculty.

Re St. Helen Burghwallis [2022] ECC She 1

The petitioners wished to re-tile the church roof reusing 70% of the old tiles, and also take the opportunity to fit insulation into the roof. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to conditions that (1) in accordance with the recommendation of the Diocesan Advisory Committee, the works should be subject to a monitoring process both before and after the works take place, and (2) in accordance with the advice of Historic England, the insulation should be installed without causing harm to the roof timbers; the gable apex crosses should be retained and, if necessary, restored; and any mortar to be used should match the existing historic mortar.

Re St. James West Dean [2022] ECC Glo 1

The petitioner wished to exhume the ashes of her late husband and reinter them in the grave of her parents within the same churchyard. As Chancellor found that the petitioner had been misinformed as to where her husband's ashes had to be buried - in a newly created garden of remembrance - the Chancellor granted a faculty to allow the ashes to be buried in the family grave.

Re St. Gregory Sudbury [2022] ECC SEI 2

The petitioners sought permission to introduce 15 quartz halogen heaters into the church and also replace the windows in the ringing chamber. The Chancellor had previously refused permission for the heaters, following the advice of the Church Building Council (CBC) that the heaters were unsuitable. However, a subsequent meeting was held at the church, attended by representatives of the Parochial Church Council, the Diocesan Advisory Committee and the CBC. As a result of additional information being provided at that meeting, the CBC confirmed that it was content to support the proposed heating. The Chancellor was satisfied that there was a clear justification for carrying out the proposals, which would outweigh any harm caused by the introduction of the heaters. He granted a faculty for the heaters and also for the replacement windows for the ringing chamber.

Re St. Andrew Thursford [2022] ECC Nor 1

The petitioners wished to remove 25 pews at the rear of the church to provide space and flexibility to equip the church for community events. They also sought to install a new stained-glass window in the Chad Chapel. Notwithstanding concerns from amenity societies about the design of the proposed new window, and concerns of the Victorian Society as to the number of pews to be removed, the Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Giles Sheldon [2022] ECC Bir 1

The petitioner, acting as executor for her brother, wished his remains to be buried in their mother's grave and for the existing memorial to their mother to be replaced with a memorial to mother and son. One of four other siblings objected to the wording on the proposed new memorial not including the words, 'We will meet again, Darling', which had been inscribed on the original memorial. The Chancellor decided that a change should not be made to a grave if it would give rise to family discord. He therefore refused to grant a faculty.

Re St. James Southbroom [2022] ECC Sal 2

The Vicar and Churchwardens wished to fell twelve hornbeam trees lining the path to the south porch of the church. The trees were said to have outgrown their situation, resulting in the area being very dark, the grass beneath them being affected and the pathway becoming slippery. There were several written objections. The diocesan trees advisor and the local authority advised that the trees had grown too large for their setting. The Chancellor determined that the benefits of the proposal would outweigh the loss of amenity and she accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. John the Baptist Tisbury [2022] ECC Sal 1

The stained glass of the Victorian east window, designed by the Clutterbuck workshop, had seriously degraded to the extent that some areas of the design had almost disappeared. The petition proposed that the window should be replaced by a new window designed by Thomas Denny. Though it was not part of the present petition, it was proposed that the better parts of the Clutterbuck window should be incorporated into a design in the easternmost window of the north aisle. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the Clutterbuck window. The Chancellor, being mindful that the east window should provide a key liturgical focus in worship, granted a faculty, subject to a condition (inter alia) that the incumbent and churchwarden should within 30 months apply for a faculty for the retention of parts of the Clutterbuck window in the easternmost window of the north aisle.

Re St. Werburgh Chorlton-cum-Hardy [2022] ECC Man 1

Until recent years the unlisted church had been in decline. In 2021 the Diocese had designated the church as a Resource Church, with a view to developing outreach and growth, with the help of funding from the Church Commissioners. Over the past two years there had been an increase in the worshipping congregation. The church now wished to carry out major reordering, in order to make the church more welcoming and more suited to contemporary worship, which would include the reuse of the chancel as an entrance and welcome area, an altar at the west end and the pews being replaced with upholstered, stackable chairs. There was one local letter of objection. The Chancellor was satisfied that the changes were

Re St. Mary Thame [2022] ECC Oxf 2

The petitioner wished to reserve a double grave for herself and her partner. The petitioner had been resident in the parish until 2013, the remains of her father and stillborn child were buried in the churchyard, and all her immediate family still lived in the area. The normal period allowed for reservation of a grave in the diocese was 25 years. Evidence suggested that there was room for further burials only for a further 7 to 10 years. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but limited it to 10 years, giving permission to the petitioner to apply for an extension within 6 months of the expiry of the 10 years. The judgment contains a review of decisions relating to grave reservations by other Chancellors, including cases where Parochial Church Councils had adopted policies of not supporting grave reservations.

Re Heaton Cemetery [2022] ECC New 1

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of his mother moved from one consecrated plot in the cemetery to another consecrated plot in the same cemetery. The reason given for the proposed move was that, due to the proximity of skips to accommodate rubbish, the area next to the grave had become the subject of persistent fly-tipping. The Chancellor was satisfied that photographs of the area indicated "a wholly disrespectful and disgraceful state of affairs." He therefore granted a faculty for exhumatin and reinterment.

Re St. John the Baptist Baginton [2022] ECC Cov 2

The petitioners wished to erect a headstone on the grave of their uncle. The proposed memorial was to be dark grey granite, partly polished, with gold lettering, and bearing an engraved image of a motor cyclist with helmet and goggles on a racing motorcycle bearing the number 60, the number used by the deceased when he took part in motorcycle events, including the Isle of Man TT. As there were already several other polished stones in the churchyard, and the image was appropriate to commemorate the life of the deceased, the Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Peter Ireleth [2022] ECC Car 1

The petitioner wished to have the remains of her late husband exhumed from the churchyard of the parish church of St. Peter Ireleth and reinterred in another plot in the same churchyard. The reason given for the request was that access to the current grave was inconvenient and unsafe, being impeded by scaffolding poles which had been in position since 2019, due to problems with the church roof, which could only be resolved as and when the church could raise the money to pay for the work. The Deputy Chancellor determined that there were no sufficiently exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty for exhumation. Whilst access might be inconvenient, it was not unsafe and the difficulties were not likely to be long-lasting.

Re St. Nicolas Great Bookham [2022] ECC Gui 3

The parish wished to carry out extensive internal reordering works to the church. The main item of contention was the removal of the 19th century stained deal pews (in order to afford greater flexibility to worship and community activities) and their replacement with 200 Howe 40/4 chairs The amenity societies had several reservations about the proposed works. The Victorian Society proposed the retention of a block of five pews either side of the central aisle. The Chancellor decided that a mixture of modern chairs and 19th century pews would look incongrous and not serve the ambitions of the church to engage more with the community: " ... in seeking to serve two masters, present needs and past aesthetics, there is the risk that it properly serves neither. I am satisfied that the parish’s genuine wish is to be able to offer a resource to the community that it cannot presently offer." He therefore granted a faculty which authorised, inter alia, the replacement of all the pews with chairs.

Re Hurstpierpoint College Chapel [2022] ECC Chi 1

The College sought permission for certain improvements, mainly to the chancel of the chapel, including the permanent retention of seating platforms; the upgrading of the lighting system; the removal of carpet from the majority of the chancel; and the repair of heating grilles to the nave floor. Notwithstanding an objection by the Victrorian Society to the fixing of transparent balustrades to the platforms, in order to prevent falls, the Chancellor decided to grant a faculty for all the works, being satisfied that any harm to the significance of the Chapel as a building of special architectural or historic interest would be relatively minor.

Re St. James Bushey [2022] ECC StA 1

A married couple had died, one of them in 1968 and the other in 1983, and a memorial on their grave bore their names. One of their three children, a daughter, died in 2019 and her husband died in 2020, and their ashes had been interred in the same grave. The petitioner, the eldest child of the daughter, wished to add a second memorial recording the names of her own parents. The daughter's surviving two brothers objected, one becoming a party opponent, who was unhappy about his brother-in-law's ashes having been buried in the grave and his surname being on a memorial on the grave. The Chancellor granted a faculty, authorising the memorial with the compromise wording suggested by the petitioner, which would give both the married name and maiden name of the daughter, to show the link between her and her parents.

Re St. Kenelm Romsley [2022] ECC Wor 4

The petitioner wished to reserve a grave 'until I die'. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but only for a term of 25 years, to provide certainty to the church as to the period of reservation. The Chancellor pointed out that, if at the end of the 25 years the petitioner wished to continue to reserve the space, an application could be made for an extension.

Re St. Kenelm Romsley [2022] ECC Wor 3

The petitioner wished to reserve a grave 'until I die'. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but only for a term of 25 years, to provide certainty to the church as to the period of reservation. The Chancellor pointed out that, if at the end of the 25 years the petitioner wished to continue to reserve the space, an application could be made for an extension.

Re All Saints Stranton [2022] ECC Dur 4

The Parochial Church Council wished to restore and retune the church's eight bells. The Church Buildings Council ('CBC') opposed the retuning of the 6th bell, as it was thought to predate 1600, and was therefore on the CBC's list of bells which should be preserved because of their historical importance. The evidence was that the 6th bell had already had modifications made to it in 1907, and had been badly retuned at that time; also, the retuning would involve the shaving of only a minimal amount of metal from the inner surface of the bell. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Bartholomew Areley Kings [2022] ECC Wor 2

The petitioner's daughter had died in tragic circumstances at the age of 23. The petitioner wished to have her daughter's ashes interred and a four feet high memorial stone erected in a part of the churchyard where the memorial could be seen from the petitioner's home. Although there was a churchyard policy that only flat stones should be allowed to mark cremated remains, the proposed location for the interment and memorial was away from the area where cremated remains were normally interred, and where there were other large memorials. The Chancellor determined that the pastoral reasons given for allowing the proposal were sufficient to justify permission being granted for the erection of the monument.

Re St. Joseph & St. James Follifoot [2022] ECC Lee 1

The Parochial Church Council wished to fell and grind out the roots of a holly tree and to repair a collapsed section of the churchyard wall. A parishioner objected that the removal of the tree was unnecessary; that judicious pruning would allow the wall to be rebuilt; and that the cost was excessive. The proposal was recommended by the Diocesan Advisory Committee, a tree specialist and the church's inspecting architect. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for the removal of the tree and he granted a faculty, subject to a condition for a replacement planting in the churchyard.

Re East Finchley Cemetery [2022] ECC Lon 1

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for the exhumation of the mortal remains of his grandparents and great aunt, who died in 1921, 1951 a 1954 resepctively, in order that the remains might be cremated and scattered in Golders Green Cemetery, as the application was "far outside of the exceptions to the general and important rule relating to the finality of Christian burial set out in the leading case of Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, Court of Arches."

Re St. Edith Monk's Kirby [2022] ECC Cov 1

The petitioner wished to replace a severely damaged churchyard memorial, erected in about 1896, with a new memorial based upon the original design. The design was not within the churchyards regulations, being a stone cross upon three tiers of steps and with kerbs bearing an inscription around the edge. The person commemorated, Lady Mary Feilding, had been the founder of the Mary Feilding Guild, which promoted employment and suitable housing for ladies in need of some support. The Chancellor considered it appropriate to have a new memorial erected to the original design and granted a faculty subject to a condition (inter alia) that no chippings should be placed within the kerbs. He also gave permission for a plaque or inscription to be placed on the back of the memorial, setting out the year and reason for the installation of the replacement memorial, linked with the charitable legacy of Lady Mary Feilding.

Re St. Peter Frimley [2022] ECC Gui 2

In 2010, there had been a major reordering approved by faculty. This involved replacing the dark wood podium, altar, credence table, lectern and choir chairs in the chancel with new furniture in a light oak. The Parochial Church Council now wished to replace the dark pine nave pews with upholstered light oak chairs, partly because of the poor condition of many of the pews and partly to permit more flexible use of the church. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the pews, and they also objected to the idea of upholstered chairs, as did the Ancient Monuments Society and the Church Buildings Council. The Chancellor was satisfied that the removal of the pews would not materially harm the interior of the church and would blend in better with the light oak furniture in the chancel. He was also persuaded that the proposed chairs were suitable for flexible use of the church, and the proposed colour would fit well with other colours in the church. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re Aycliffe West Cemetery [2022] ECC Dur 3

The petitioners wished to exhume their father's cremated remains and to scatter the ashes with the ashes of the petitioner's mother (recently deceased) at a favourite spot in the Lake District. The petitioners' father had expressed a wish to have his ashes scattered in the Lake District, but the petitioners had agreed with their mother at the time of her husband's funeral to bury the ashes in the Cemetery. Now that their mother had died, the petitioner's wished to comply with their father's wishes, which their mother had agreed to before she died. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. In accordance with the principles laid down by the Court of Arches in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002], remains should only be exhumed in exceptional circumstances. The petitioners could not argue that there had been a mistake in dealing with their father's ashes as they and their mother had agreed to interment in the Cemetery. A change of mind as to a place of burial did not amount to an exceptional circumstance. The proposal to scatter the ashes was an additional reason for refusing a faculty.

Re Jesus College Cambridge [2022] ECC Ely 2

His Hon. Judge David Hodge was specially appointed by the Bishop of Huntingdon to act as Deputy Chancellor to determine the petition presented by the College, which sought permission to remove from the College Chapel a Grinling Gibbons memorial to Tobias Rustat, who had been a benefactor of the College in the 17th century. The College contended that Rustat's investment in companies connected with the slave trade created a serious obstacle to the Chapel’s ability to provide a credible Christian ministry and witness to the College community and a safe space for secular College functions and events. The Deputy Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. He considered that the removal of the Rustat memorial from the west wall of the Chapel would cause considerable, or notable, harm to the significance of the Chapel as a building of special architectural or historic interest, and he was not satisfied  that a clear and sufficiently convincing justification for the removal of the memorial had been made by the College.

Re Streatham Park Cemetery [2022] ECC Swk 1

The Chancellor granted a faculty for an exhumation and reinterment in circumstances where, owing to an administrative error, a deceased's remains had been buried in the wrong grave.

Re Parkwood Cemetery Waterhouses [2022] ECC Dur 2

The petitioner wished to have the body of her 15 year old daughter, who had committed suicide in 2018, exhumed and cremated. The family had been finding life difficult in Durham following the family tragedy. They wished to move to Canada, where they had relatives, and to take the petitioner's daughter's remains with them, where they could be interred. The Chancellor, applying the principles laid down in the Court of Arches decision in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, determined that the petitioner had failed to prove that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty for exhumation.

Re Tow Law Cemetery [2022] ECC Dur 1

The petitioner wished to have the body of her father, who died in 2010, exhumed from the cemetery and reinterred on the family farm ten miles away. The reason given was that, at the time of the deceased's death, the family was unaware that burial on private land was possible. If they had known at the time, the family would have had the deceased buried on the farm. (The deceased's widow applied to be added as a petitioner after the petition was lodged, and she wished to be buried in due course with her late husband on the farm.) The Chancellor did not regard the reason given as amounting to a mistake, within the meaning of 'mistake' as discussed in the guidelines given by the Court of Arches in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, which might justify exhumation. He therefore refused to grant a faculty. He also pointed out that the petitioners had not addressed the issue of care for the proposed grave on private land.

Re St. Saviour Nottingham [2022] ECC S&N 1

In January 2018, a faculty was granted for some reordering work within the church. The works included the installation of some softplay equipment, which was to be managed by KM Play Ltd., a company limited by guarantee. One of the conditions of the faculty was that, before commencement of the works, there should be binding legal obligations in place between the church and KM Play. This condition was not complied with, but softplay activities took place (apart from during certain periods of the pandemic). The present proceedings were to consider an amendment to the faculty, to authorise and approve a proposed agreement between the church and KM Play. The Chancellor granted a faculty approving the proposed agreement, subject to a condition that it should come to an end on 30 September 2024. If the church wished to renew the agreement, it would need to apply for another amending faculty before then, at which time the operation of the agreement during the intervening period would be reviewed. (Other conditions required the company to obtain certain confirmations from the Charity Commission, HMRC and the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer.)

Re Holy Cross Ashton Keynes [2022] ECC Bri 1

The petitioners wished to remove 6 pews from the back of the church, to provide an open space that could be used as a welcome and circulation space and for post service social time, and to shorten 14 other pews, which would also provide more flexible space. The Victorian Society and Historic England raised objections to the removal of 6 pews. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that any harm caused to the significance of the Church was justified by the public benefits that would result from the works.

Re Shenfield Cemetery [2022] ECC Oxf 1

The petitioner's maternal grandmother had been buried in grave space 951 in Shenfield Cemetery in 2006. The ashes of her grandfather had been buried in the same grave in 2009. The petitioner now sought permission for the temporary exhumation of her grandfather's ashes, to facilitate the burial of her mother's body in the same grave as her parents, with the ashes of the petitioner's grandfather then being reinterred in the grave. The Chancellor decided that, as the ashes had by mistake been buried at too shallow a depth as to allow the further burial, this was an appropriate case in which to grant a faculty. As a further reason for granting the faculty, the Chancellor said: "I also consider that the alternative test, formerly laid down and applied in Re Christ Church, Alsager [1999] Fam 142, of the existence of a good and proper reason for exhumation which most right-thinking members of the Anglican church would regard as acceptable, is also satisfied."

Re St. Mary the Virgin Clifton Campville [2022] ECC Lic 1

The church had been declared redundant in 2001 and in 2004 a lease for 99 years had been granted to a charity. The charity applied for a faculty to lay a foul drain through the churchyard to take the waste from a disabled toilet which was to be installed in the church, to serve the needs of people attending the church for community events. A party opponent objected on the grounds that there was little need for community events in the church, that the funds needed for the project could be better spent elsewhere, and that the village sewerage system was already stretched to the limit. The petitioners argued that, as the church had been used only twelve times in the previous year, the toilet usage would not overload the sewerage system. The Chancellor noted that the local authority had approved the proposal, and was therefore presumed not to be concerned about the laying of an additional drain in the village. Also, it was believed that there were no burials in the churchyard which would be affected by the laying of the drain. The Chancellor therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Budeaux Devonport [2022] ECC Exe 1

The Vicar and Churchwardens applied for permission for the creation of a disabled access toilet, a relocated and expanded kitchenette area and the removal of some pews at the front and back of the main nave pew block to enable greater freedom of movement and flexibility of use, which would also help wheelchair users, who would not then have to use the central aisle. There were three objectors who did not become parties opponent. Their principal objections related to the proximity of the toilet to the new kitchenette and insufficient privacy for those using the toilet. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for the proposals and granted a faculty.

Re St. Margaret Northam [2022] ECC Exe 2

The petitioner applied for approval of a memorial stone for the grave of his father, a former builder and stonemason, with inscriptions on both sides of the stone: on the front, the names and dates of birth and death of the deceased and the word 'Beloved'; and on the back a quotation from a poem by Rudyard Kipling ('Till the master of all good workmen shall set us to work anew') and an engraving of a trowel. The PCC objected to inscriptions on both sides of the stone, saying that it would set a precedent. The Team Rector, who had originally been happy with the proposal, later suggested that the trowel was inappropriate, as it was a symbol of Freemasonry, which might offend some people. The Chancellor determined that the design had artistic merit; that it would not establish a precedent, as there were already several stones in the churchyard with inscriptions on both sides; that the poem extract would look out of place on the front; and that the trowel was a symbol of the lifelong work of the deceased as a builder and stonemason, who had no connection with Freemasonry. Accordingly, the Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Andrew Stockton-on-Teme [2022] ECC Wor 1

A churchwarden of nearly 40 years standing had died in 2004, and at some time after his death a memorial had been erected in the church, without faculty, bearing his family crest and a brief inscription. The stone was of poor quality and had been fixed to the inside stonework of the church with four ordinary screws. Since the memorial's installation the inscription had become difficult to read. A churchwarden, discovering that no faculty had been granted for the memorial, applied for a confirmatory faculty and for permission to have the inscription repainted in black. The Chancellor determined that it was appropriate to have a memorial inside the church to such a long-serving churchwarden, who had also served on the Parish Council. She granted a faculty subject to conditions regarding a better form of mounting of the memorial, the colour of the lettering, amendments to the wording and the method of fixing.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Foulridge [2022] ECC Bla 1

Under the authority of a faculty granted in March 2021, the sale of a piece of surplus land adjoining the church was to be sold, together with a piece of land owned by the diocese, to a housing developer who proposed building nine houses. In September 2021, a further faculty application was made for permission to create a temporary compound for the developer on part of the churchyard where there were no marked graves. A parishioner objected to the proposal and became a party opponent. His main objection was that this would be an inappropriate and disrespectful use of part of the consecrated curtilage of the church set aside for burials. Whilst expressing some sympathy for the objector's point of view, the Chancellor considered that, subject to there being a sufficient need for the compound, and adequate safeguards being put in place to protect existing graves, it was appropriate to grant permission for a limited period of 18 months, subject to conditions requiring no part of the compound to be within 5 metres of any marked graves, and subject also to surface reinstatement works being carried out by the developer at the end of the development.

Re All Saints Woodham [2022] ECC Gui 1

A new underfloor heating system was proposed for the church, and the proposals included replacing the wooden floor boards of the nave with hand-made tiles, and replacing the wood block flooring in the Lady Chapel with limestone. The Victorian Society was originally, on aesthetic grounds, against replacing the wooden floor boards and the wood block flooring. However, the evidence of the Senior Project Consultant was that wood flooring over the underfloor heating would be less thermally efficient. At a meeting of the Victorian Society, the Church Building Council and the Diocesan Advisory Committee, a compromise version of the specification for the design of the tile flooring was agreed. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Leonard Hythe [2022] ECC Can 1

An application had been made by a private individual for a restitution order against the Archdeacon, requiring him to replace the pews which had been removed from the church in the summer of 2020, on the grounds that their removal was not permitted by a licence for temporary minor reordering, and was therefore unlawful. The Archdeacon had not actually given permission for the pews to be removed. They had been removed by the Churchwardens and Parochial Church Council (PCC), who subsequently undertook to return the pews to the church in October 2021, but did not do so until December 2021. The Commissary General gave directions for the Archdeacon to be removed as the respondent and replaced by the Churchwardens and PCC. The Commissary General also considered it appropriate, in the interests of certainty, to issue a resitution order, and he directed that the new respondents should pay the costs of the application and of the hearing.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Hoxne [2022] ECC SEI 1

The church wished to repair and reassemble a screen which was formerly under the tower arch before the organ was moved there. They then wished to repair the Lady Chapel steps, shorten two pews, reassemble the screen at the bottom of the steps and dedicate the chapel to St. Edmund. The Archdeacon gave List B consent for the restoration of the screen and the repair of the steps only. She did not allow for the re-erection of the screen or alteration of the pews. When an application was made for a faculty for the works in the chapel, a parishioner objected on the grounds of insufficient local consultation and wished to be a party to the proceedings. The faculty was put on hold pending discussions with the objector, but the parish installed the screen anyway. They then applied for permission for the screen and shortened pews to remain. The objector withdrew her objection, as she felt 'vilified' by the petitioners. The Chancellor granted a faculty, ordering the petitioners to pay the costs of the Registry and any costs incurred by the objector.

Re St. Michael Langtoft [2022] ECC Lin 1

The petition proposed the addition of three names said to have been omitted from the First World War Memorial in Langtoft. In his judgment, the Chancellor set out the criteria he would apply in this or any future similar application: (1) if the name was recorded on a war memorial elsewhere, the presumption would be that the family had chosen to have the name recorded in the other place; (2) if the name was not recorded elsewhere, the Chancellor would have to decide, on a balance of probabilimemties, if the omission was a mistake. In the present case, two of the names were recorded elsewhere. The third name was the same as one already on the war memorial, but alleged to be a different person. The Chancellor was not satisfied that the the third name related to a different person from the one whose name was already on the memorial. He therefore decided not to grant a faculty authorising any of the names to be added to the memorial.

Re St. Andrew Horbling [2022] ECC Lin 2

The petitioner's late father had been buried in grave C17 in the churchyard. There had been an understanding by the petitioner that his mother would be buried in grave C18, next to her husband, and the petitioner had applied to reserve grave C19. The petitioner discovered that someone else had been buried in grave C18. He therefore applied for his father's remains to be exhumed and reinterred in the row behind row C, row D, so that the petitioner and his parents would in due time all be buried next to each other. On the recommendation of the gravedigger, the Chancellor granted a faculty authorising a trench to be dug from the petitioner's father's grave to the grave space behind, so that the coffin could then be slid into the new position in row D. The Chancellor emphasised the importance of an up to date and accurate churchyard plan being kept in the church.

Re Jesus College Cambridge [2022] ECC Ely 1

The subject matter of the petition was a memorial to Tobias Rustat (d. 1694) in the Chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge. The petitioners (the College) wished to remove the memorial from the Chapel, for conservation and retention elsewhere, as they wished to avoid the risk of people worshipping at the Chapel being offended by the memorial, in view of Rustat’s involvement in the slave trade in the late 17th century. There were many objectors to the proposal. The judgment deals with procedural and evidential issues, including refusing the objectors’ application to adjourn the hearing listed for 2-4 February 2022 in order to obtain the expert evidence of a historian, and refusing the petitioners’ application to call an eighth witness.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Hambledon [2022] ECC Por 1

There was a disagreement between siblings as to the inscription to be included on the memorial for the grave of their parents, who had died within a short time of each other. Two of them wished to have the words 'IN GOD'S KEEPING', followed by dates, then 'FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS'. The third sibling wished the words ‘Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love’ to be added. The first two siblings did not consider the words appropriate and so one of them applied for a faculty to authorise only the words that they had chosen. The Chancellor considered that the additional words expressed immediate personal grief which it was not appropriate to include on a permanent memorial and they might "detract from the messages of love and care which the inscription would otherwise convey". He therefore granted a faculty for the memorial with the wording proposed by the petitioner.