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.

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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

Judgments Recently Received

Click on a citation to view the judgment.

Re St. Bartholomew Bristol [2024] ECC Bri 1

In 2017 and 2018, two items of work had been carried out at the unlisted late Victorian church without the authority of a faculty, namely, the removal of a porch and the replacement of the wooden entrance doors with a pair of glass panelled doors. The petitioners applied for a confirmatory faculty. Though disappointed at the parish’s initial failure to co-operate with his enquiries as to how and why the works had been carried out without faculty, which was rectified by the appointment of new churchwardens, the Chancellor accepted the apologies of the new petitioners and granted a faculty.

Re St. James Ravenfield [2024] ECC She 1

The Petitioner sought permission retrospectively for a wooden surround and blue slate chippings installed without permission and contrary to the diocesan churchyards rules on a grave containing the remains of his grandparents. The Chancellor determined that there was no proper basis on which to permit a faculty. She therefore dismissed the petition and authorised the Parochial Church Council to remove the wooden surround and blue slate chippings.

Re St. John the Evangelist Goole [2024] ECC She 2

The petitioners proposed a 21-space car park in the churchyard of the Victorian Grade II church, in order to formalise existing parking arrangements. There was a shortage of available parking for visitors to the church and parish centre and parking in the churchyard already occurred. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the works were designed to “have a low impact visually and to protect the grass surface of the churchyard, to minimise disturbance of grave sites and to fulfil an obvious need for visitors to the church”.

Re St. John the Evangelist Goole [2024] ECC She 3

The works proposed were for the construction of below ground drainage infrastructure in the churchyard, east of the chancel, to facilitate the future installation of toilets in the church, which would be the subject of a separate faculty petition. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Sprotbrough [2024] ECC She 4

The petitioners proposed the creation of a social space, including a kitchen hub, at the west end of the south aisle of the church. Which is the most modern part of the Grade I Norman church. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the works did not impact the historical and architectural significance of the church building.

Re St. Anne Bagshot [2024] ECC Gui 2

The proposed works were: removal of the front two pews and pew fronts in the nave, together with two radiators; electrical sockets to be relocated; and carpeting to match existing. The Chancellor considered that the proposed works would not damage the overall significance of the church as a listed Victorian church and that there was a clear justification for carrying out the proposals, in view of the “public benefit and particularly the opportunities for mission and putting the church to viable uses that are consistent with its role as a place of worship and mission”. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re Christ Church Woking [2024] ECC Gui 1

An extensive programme of reordering was proposed in order to accommodate all the activities of this very busy church. The Chancellor was satisfied that there was a clear and well-evidenced need for the proposals and that the proposals would result in a low level of harm to the significance of the church. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. John Marchwood [2024] ECC Win 3

A confirmatory faculty was sought for the permanent removal of seven paintings from the east end of the Victorian church and their permanent storage within the church. The paintings had been executed on linoleum by the wife of a former incumbent over 100 years previously and had covered the painted Ten Commandments, Creed and Lord’s Prayer. They had been taken down in August 2019 after it was noticed that they were buckling and part of the decoration behind was visible. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the four outer paintings to be permanently removed and stored, on condition that they were to be restored, preserved and stored in the body of the church. He imposed a further condition that the three central paintings should also be restored and then reinstated.

Re St. Andrew Kinson [2024] ECC Sal 3

The petitioner applied for a confirmatory faculty in respect of a memorial which had already been installed in the churchyard. The memorial had features outside the current Churchyards Regulations. The stone was pale grey granite and the design included a heart, a cherub, roses and a scroll. The background of the stone had a textured finish and the heart and scroll were smooth and reflective. The Deputy Chancellor considered that there was an incongruity between the stone and the other stones in the churchyard surrounding it. For pastoral reasons, the Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty, but subject to conditions that all coloured paint should be removed from the memorial and that numerous personal artefacts on the grave should be removed within three months and should not at any time be replaced with others.

Re St. Mary Stalbridge [2024] ECC Sal 2

In his judgment in Re St. Mary Stalbridge [2024] ECC Sal 1, the Deputy Chancellor granted a confirmatory faculty for the installation of a new oil-fired boiler, subject to conditions, and gave directions as to the provision of further evidence regarding the circumstances in which the boiler was unlawfully installed without the authority of a faculty. After considering further evidence from the petitioners and the heating engineers, the Deputy Chancellor advised the petitioners that in future they must always obtain a faculty (or other authorisation) before they commence any works in the church. He also proposed (after seeking advice from the Diocesan Advisory Committee) to make an order under s.78(3) of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018, known as an excluded matters order. This would have the effect, for a specified period of time (which he proposed should be two years), of depriving the parish of the benefit of List B authorisations, so that any works falling within List B, which would ordinarily require only the authorisation of the Archdeacon, would, during the specified period, instead require a faculty.

Re William Rudd Wilson, Deceased [2024] ECC Car 1

In 1978, the petitioner’s son, aged 2 years and ten months, had died and had been buried in plot 126 in Whitehaven Cemetery. In 1997, the petitioner’s former father-in-law had died and his family, without the involvement of an undertaker or the burial authority, had interred his ashes by pouring them into a shallow hole in the same plot. It had always been the wish of the petitioner to be buried with his son, but the shallow interment of his former father-in-law’s ashes now prevented this. The petitioner therefore requested permission for his father-in-law’s ashes to be exhumed and reinterred in another plot in the cemetery (Plot 563) owned by the petitioner’s former wife. The burial authority were satisfied that the ashes could be exhumed intact. The Chancellor decided that there were exceptional circumstances justifying the grant of a faculty: there had been a mistake by the petitioner’s father-in-law’s family, in that they had not appreciated the consequences of preventing further interments in plot 126. Also, it was desirable to move the ashes of the petitioner’s father-in-law to plot 563, which was a family plot where the remains of the petitioner’s former mother-in-law and her son had already been interred.

Re St. John the Evangelist Goole [2023] ECC She 4

The petitioners wished to remove permanently from the roof of the church a stone pinnacle, having been advised by stonemasons working on the roof that it was dangerously unstable and could fall at any time. On 24th February 2023 the Chancellor had granted an interim faculty for the removal of the pinnacle. This judgment was issued subsequently, setting out the Chancellor's decision and directing the grant of a faculty.

Re St. Mary Catcliffe [2023] ECC She 3

The petitioners' father died in 1993. His body was cremated and his ashes were interred in the churchyard. The petitioners' mother died in 2021. The petitioners wished to fulfil their mother's request before her death that, regretting that she had had her husband's ashes interred in the churchyard, she wished her husband's ashes to be exhumed following her death and scattered with her own ashes in a favourite place. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. There were no sufficiently exceptional circumstances to justify an exhumation, particularly after such a long lapse of time between the two deaths.

Re Rochdale Cemetery [2024] ECC Man 1

The petitioner's wife had died in 2019 and had been buried in the grave of her parents in Rochdale Cemetery. The petitioner had hoped to be buried in the same grave, but arguments had subsequently arisen between the petitioner and his wife's family as to who had a right to be buried in the grave. The petitioner therefore applied for permission to have his wife's body exhumed so that it could be buried in a new grave where the petitioner could also be buried in due course. Members of the petitioner's wife's family objected. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioner's wife had wanted to be buried with the petitioner and there had been a mistaken belief by both of them that they would be entitled to be buried together. It was therefore appropriate for a faculty for exhumation and reinterment to be granted to the petitioner.

Re St. Nicholas Codsall [2023] ECC Lic 2

The petitioner applied on behalf of her mother to have the cremated remains of her father exhumed from his burial plot and reinterred in another plot. Interments of cremated remains in the churchyard normally allowed for 18 inches of spacing between memorial plaques, so that visitors did not tread on memorials. At the time of the interment, the proximity of the petitioner's father's grave plot to neighbouring plots had been obscured by a green carpet laid over the neighbouring plots. It later became apparent that there was insufficient space to tend the plaque laid on the plot without stepping on neighbouring plaques, and there was evidence that the petitioner's father's plaque had been trodden on. This was very distressing for his widow. The Chancellor considered that the problem had arisen because of an unfortunate mistake as to spacing by those responsible for laying out the plots and he considered therefore that the granting of a faculty was justified.

Re All Saints Childwall [2023] ECC Liv 4

The proposal was to move a war memorial from the church porch and reposition it on a wall at the west end of the church in order to protect it from the elements in the open porch. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re Bognor Regis Town Cemetery [2024] ECC Chi 3

A man had died in 2023 and, the whereabouts of any relatives being unknown at the time, those who took on responsibility for his burial arranged for him to be buried in a consecrated part of the Bognor Regis Town Cemetery. When the man's family became aware of the burial, they applied for a faculty to allow them to exhume the deceased's body, to have it cremated and then to scatter the ashes elsewhere. The reason given by the family for their application was that the deceased had been a lifelong atheist and would not have wished to be buried in a Christian burial ground. The Chancellor decided that the Christian burial had been a mistake and he therefore granted a faculty for exhumation and disposal of the deceased's ashes in due course as the family thought fit.

Re Christ Church Spitalfields [2024] ECC Lon 2

The Rector and Parochial Church Council wished to enter into a management agreement with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, under Section 6 of the Open Spaces Act 1906, in respect of certain parts of the closed churchyard of Christ Church Spitalfields, which adjoins Christ Church Primary School. The petitioners had amended the petition by omitting references to certain parts of the closed churchyard adjoining the school.The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise the completion of a manangment agreement limited to the parts of the closed churchyard specified in the amended petition.

Re Christ Church Spitalfields [2023] ECC Lon 3

The Rector and Parochial Church Council wished to enter into a management agreement with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, under Section 6 of the Open Spaces Act 1906, in respect of certain parts of the closed churchyard of Christ Church Spitalfields, which adjoins Christ Church Primary School. This judgment was an preliminary judgment to decide on certain issues, including whether the court had the jurisdiction to decide and grant the petition sought by the Petitioners. (The Chancellor determined the petition in his subsequent judgment: Re Christ Church Spitalfields [2024] ECC Lon 2.)

Re Holy Trinity Wordsley [2024] ECC Wor 1>

The petitioners applied for, firstly, a confirmatory faculty in respect of works previously carried out without faculty, including destruction of the pulpit and reuse of the timber to make a new font, and cutting down a mature tree; and, secondly, a faculty to authorise the construction of a prayer room, the re-siting of an 1831 font and the moving of an 1888 font to a baby memorial in the churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty for all the items, except that the proposed relocation of the 1888 font to the baby memorial in the churchyard was adjourned generally.

Re St. Nicholas East Dereham [2024] ECC Nor 3

The petition sought permission for the following works in the Grade I listed church: the installation of toilets and the creation of a sound-proof meeting room with kitchen facilities in the north transept; the removal of the temporary kitchen at the east end of the south aisle; the creation of a reredos; the relocation of an altar in front of the reredos; and the creation of storage space behind the reredos. One matter of concern in this case was the proposal to level the floor of the Cowper Chapel in order to create an even floor for the proposed meeting room. However, the Chancellor granted a faculty for all the items as proposed.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Stebbing [2024] ECC Chd 1

The proposal was to install a buried LPG tank in the churchyard, with pipes leading to the church building. This was intended to power an LPG boiler, which would in turn power the new underfloor heating system which formed part of the works authorised by a Faculty granted in 2023. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had considered with some care the Church of England’s guidance towards achieving net zero and she accordingly granted a faculty.

Re An Application for Exhumation [2024] ECC Wor 2

A father and son had died together in 1977 and their ashes had been interred in a public cemetery. The father's widow applied for a faculty to authorise exhumation of the remains and their reinterment in a private burial ground with a view to creating a family grave where the remains of other members of the family could be interred. The Chancellor received reports from a psychotherapist and a general practitioner that the exhumation and reinterment would be beneficial to the mental well-being of one of the widow's daughters. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to a condition that the remains of the father and son, after such a long period, could be identified and fully removed.

Re St. Leonard Oakley [2024] ECC Win 1

The petitioners proposed the creation of an extension and new entrance linked to the west door of the church, including kitchen and WC facilities, and also pew removal and extensive reordering of the main part of the church building. The proposals were opposed by a number of amenity societies and the Local Planning Authority, though only the Victorian Society became a party opponent. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Whilst he saw a clear justification for some parts of the proposals, he did not consider that, overall, the justification outweighed the potential harm to the Grade II* church.

Re St. David Newbold-on-Stour [2024] ECC Cov 1

The petitioners wished to replace most of the wooden benches in the nave of the Grade II church with upholstered wooden chairs from a local Baptist church. The Victorian Society objected to the proposal. The Diocesan Advisory Committee disagreed with the Victorian Society's reasons for objecting. One of the reasons for the proposal to replace the benches was that their legs were a trip hazard. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the benches were of no great quality, their replacement would remove a trip hazard, the chairs would provide the greater flexibility that the church needed, and the upholstery of the chairs was of such a colour as would not distract the viewer from taking in the splendours of the church building.

Re St. John Hoveton [2024] ECC Nor 2

The petitioners wished to replace all the oak pews, which were installed in 1890, with stackable, upholstered chairs and also replace the under pew heaters with an infrared system. All the statutory consultees criticised the proposals. The Chancellor decided that the petitioners had not made out a sufficiently strong case for the removal of all the pews from the Grade II* church and also that the proposed type of chair was unsuitable. He therefore refused to grant a faculty for those items. With regard to the proposed heaters, the Chancellor decided to adjourn the petition, in order to give the petitioners time to decide whether they wished to proceed with that part of their petition and, if so, to obtain an independent expert report as to whether the proposed heaters were likely to affect the fabric of the church.

Re St. Mary Stalbridge [2024] ECC Sal 1

The Parochial Church Council ("PCC") wished to replace the oil-fired boiler with a new oil-fired boiler. The Diocesan Advisory Committee considered that the PCC had not had "due regard" to net zero guidance, as required by the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2022. Before their petition had been considered by the court, the PCC arranged the installation of the replacement boiler. The PCC subsequently provided the Deputy Chancellor with information about alternative heating systems, which included a quotation for converting the oil-fired boiler to run on hydrotreated vegetable oil ("HVO") at some stage in the future. The Deputy Chancellor, in view of the PCC's declared aim to decarbonise its heating with the development of an eco-friendly heating system within the next 5 years, granted a faculty, subject to (a) the PCC undertaking accredited carbon offsetting, and (b) the faculty limiting the use of the oil-fired boiler until 2028, when any request for an extension would have to be supported by evidence as to whether there had been compliance with the offsetting condition and whether the boiler had by then been converted to HVO.

Re St. John Seaton Hirst [2024] ECC New 1

A funeral director applied a few days after an interment of ashes for a faculty to authorise their temporary exhumation, as he had overlooked the family's request that a portion of the ashes should be withheld from interment in the churchyard, in order that they could be interred elsewhere. The Chancellor granted a faculty to allow the the removal of a portion of the ashes from the casket containing the ashes as the funeral director had acted promptly and his mistake was an exceptional reason to justify exhumation, in order that the wishes of the family could be carried out.

Re St. Luke Blackburn [2024] ECC Bla 3

In 2021 a Faculty had been granted for extensive reordering of the unlisted 19th century church, following its relaunch as a youth resourcing church. The faculty contained a condition that "None of the existing historic fittings in the church building are to be altered and the chancel is to remain as existing." In 2023, a faculty application sought 'retrospective permission for the removal of the pulpit and disposal of church furnishings including credence tables, lecterns and small tables’. The items had been sold to an architectural salvage company at short notice to facilitate completion of the works authorised in 2021 in time for the reopening of the church in October 2023. Notwithstanding objections from the Victorian Society regarding the removal of the pulpit, the Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the style of worship in the church had changed fundamentally and that the pulpit and other items were no longer needed for worship in the church.

Re St. Nicholas Leicester [2024] ECC Lei 2

This judgment (which was preceded by three interim judgments with the neutral citations [2023] ECC Lei 1, [2023] ECC Lei 2 and [2023] ECC Lei 3, dealing with preliminary issues) relates to a petition for the introduction of a new altar frontal displaying the colours of the Progress Pride flag, the church having come to be regarded over time as a safe worshipping space for LGBTQIA+ people of faith. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty: "The Progress Pride flag is not a Christian emblem ... it is a secular contemporary emblem used for many causes and contemporary discourse ... The focus, purpose and celebration of the Holy Communion is for all to come to Jesus and remember His sacrifice ... It is clear that there is not a unified belief that the proposed Altar frontal achieves this message of oneness in Christ".

Re St. Pancras Chichester [2024] ECC Chi 2

The petitioners wished to replace the existing 1980s upholstered chairs in the Grade II listed church with 150 new upholstered chairs, which were lighter in weight and would stack more easily. The Victorian Society objected to the proposal, citing the Church of England guidance that un-upholstered wooden chairs were more appropriate for historic church interiors. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty: the current chairs were difficult to move and were untidy, and the new chairs would not harm the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

Re St. Paul Caton-with-Littledale [2024] ECC Bla 2

The petitioner, who had lived in the parish all his life, wished to reserve a grave space in the churchyard for 25 years. According to the vicar, there was space in the churchyard for burials for a period of 5 to 10 years. There was also an extra piece of land, currently used as a recreation area, which could be brought into use and accommodate burials for a further 50 years. In 2023, the Parochial Church Council decided not to support any further reservations of grave spaces. The Chancellor decided, in view of the petitioner's life expectancy being 7-10 years, owing to paralysis following an accident, and for pastoral reasons, to grant a faculty reserving a grave for a period of 7 years, so that no-one else with a right of burial would be prejudiced by the grant before the space for further burials was full. The petitioner was given liberty to apply for an extension during the seventh year.

Re St. Wilfrid Standish [2024] ECC Bla 1

The petitioners, residents of the parish for 58 years and with many relatives buried in the churchyard, wished to reserve a grave space for 25 years. In 2022 the Parochial Church Council had made a decision not to support any more reservations of graves, in view of the small number of empty grave spaces remaining. The Deputy Chancellor concluded that there was no sufficient justification for the Court to take the exceptional course of allowing a reservation when there was only space for burials for an estimated period of 18 to 24 months.

Re St. Mary Denver [2023] ECC Ely 5

The Chancellor had previously refused permission for a polished green granite memorial stone. The petitioner had responded with a letter expressing disappointment at the Chancellor's decision. This judgment contains the Chancellor's reasons for his decision to refuse permission for the type of stone requested.

Re St. Andrew Andreas ("Kirk Andreas") [2024] EC Sodor 1

The Chancellor granted a faculty to allow a series of 'Manx Crosses' (stone crosses and slabs bearing crosses) to be displayed in armoured glass cabinets which would form a wall between the west end of the church and the church hall.

Re St. Peter Mancroft Norwich [2024] ECC Nor 1

As part of the church's aim to reduce its carbon footprint to net zero by 2030, the present proposal was to install solar panels on the roof of the south-aisle of the church, six storage batteries in the former organ blower room, two external heat pump evaporator units and associated cabling. The Chancellor considered that the panels would have little visual impact on the church and that the level of damage to the architectural and historical significance of the church would be very low. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Michael Chiswick [2024] ECC Lon 1

In November 2023, the Chancellor had granted a faculty to allow the replacement of 209 late 19th century ladderback chairs with 120 new Abbey chairs from Trinity Church Furniture. The grant of the faculty was subject to there being no objections in response to public notices. In the event notices of objection were received from eight people, who did not wish to become parties opponent. The Chancellor now decided that the petitioners had demonstrated a need for new chairs and he was satisfied with the design of chair chosen.

Re Holy Trinity Cookham [2024] ECC Oxf 1

The proposals included an accessible toilet within the west tower, removal of the pews, new stone flooring and a new heating system including underfloor heating and perimeter radiators heated by a replacement gas boiler. There was opposition from the statutory consultees. The Chancellor had to consider whether the petitioners, as required by the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015, had given 'due regard' to the net zero guidance on reducing carbon emissions issued by the Church Buildings Council. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioners, through their heating consultant, had considered all alternative sources of heating and that "at the present time, a replacement gas boiler is the only viable and affordable heating option which will meet all the relevant needs and aspirations of the church".

Re St Egelwin the Martyr Scalford [2024] ECC Lei 1

To meet the increased needs of the church and the community, the proposal was for the creation of a meeting room between the vestry and the servery at the west end of the church. The proposed room would have bi-fold doors, which could be opened up to make the room part of the nave when needed. The work would involve resiting the font. Contentious parts of the proposals were the depth and height of the meeting room and the fact that two pillars at the west end of the church would be obscured. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the justification for carrying out the proposals outweighed any potential harm.

Re St. Margaret Rottingdean [2024] ECC Chi 1

The was a petition for internal reordering of the church. An interim faculty had been granted in 2021, authorising certain works, conditional upon an application being made for a permanent faculty within 24 months. Notwithstanding the reservations of some statutory consultees, the Chancellor was satisfied that the works would improve liturgical use of the building and permit a range of community uses for concerts and events, and that the public benefit in implementing the proposals would outweigh the limited harm that would result.

Re All Saints Isley Walton [2023] ECC Lei 4

Following a complaint in 2022 from a local resident, the former Chancellor proceeded to determine whether two trees felled in the churchyard with the approval of the archdeacon should have been the subject of a faculty application. She decided that the felling of the first tree was permissible with the archdeacon's approval (and she granted a retrospective faculty), but that the felling of the second tree should have required a faculty. In her judgment in 2022, the former Chancellor required expert reports as to how to deal with the two tree stumps, a recommendation as to the planting of replacement trees and advice on the affect of the stumps on the nearby wall and memorials. In 2023, the Deputy Chancellor considered the reports that had been submitted and requested further reports from the Parochial Church Council and the church architect before any further action.

Re St. Nicholas Leicester [2023] ECC Lei 3

In his decision in Re St. Nicholas Leicester [2023] ECC Lei 1, the Acting Chancellor concluded, as a preliminary issue, that three of the nine persons who submitted objections to the petition had a "sufficient interest". In this decision, the Acting Chancellor set aside his original order in so far as he now considered that one of those three objectors did not have a sufficient interest in the petition.

Re An Unnamed Burial Ground [2023] ECC Chi 2

The petitioner wished to have her mother's body exhumed from a consecrated burial ground in the Diocese of Chichester and reinterred in a consecrated burial ground in another diocese. The reason given by the petitioner was that the proximity of her mother’s grave to those of close family members of her ex-husband, who had been violent and abusive towards the petitioner and her children, was affecting her mental health and made it stressful for the petitioner and her children to visit the grave. There was medical evidence to support the Petitioner's state of health. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that there were special circumstances which justified the making of an exception from the theological norm that Christian burial is final. In view of the sensitivity of the matter, the Chancellor decided to make the judgment anonymous and required that it should not be published until after the exhumation and reinterment had been carried out.

Re St. Mary Threlkeld [2023] ECC Car 4

Several items of reordering were proposed, in order to make the space in the church more flexible for church and community groups and events. Objections were received as to the reordering generally and also as to lack of detail in some of the proposals. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty for the removal of the pews and their replacement with unupholstered chairs to be approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee; a toilet; a kitchen; insulation of the roof; upgrading of doors; and tower repairs. He refused to grant a faculty for secondary glazing and a replacement heating system, owing to lack of detailed information provided by the petitioners.

Re St. Chad Kirkby [2023] ECC Liv 5

A memorial comprising a headstone and a ledger stone had been installed in the churchyard without the prior knowledge of the Team Rector, following the interment of a fourth member of the family in the same grave. The family was advised that the Team Rector could not have approved the memorial anyway, as features of the memorial were outside the churchyards regulations. The family applied for a confirmatory faculty. The Chancellor directed that a photograph on the headstone and two emblems of Liverpool Football Club should be removed. Whilst not happy about the nature and extent of the inscriptions, the Chancellor otherwise granted a faculty. He considered that the stonemason had been remiss in not advising the family that they should have applied for a faculty for a memorial outside the regulations and should therefore meet the cost of removal of the photograph and the football club emblems.

Re St. Peter Terwick [2023] ECC Chi 3

The petitioner wished to erect a memorial over the grave of his late wife. The incumbent, Parochial Church Council and churchwardens raised 11 objections, but did not wish to be parties opponent. After a site visit and an informal hearing with the petitioner, the incumbent and a churchwarden, the Chancellor indicated that he was minded to allow the memorial and would give detailed reasons in a written judgment.

Re St. Leodegar Hunston [2023] ECC Chi 1

The Chancellor refused to grant faculties for the reservation of two separate grave spaces in the churchyard, notwithstanding that the applicants had connections with the church. The churchyard was likely to be full within 5 years. The Chancellor said that the remaining spaces must be filled by the burial of individuals with a right of burial or a strong connection with the church in the order in which they die, until such time as the churchyard becomes full.

Re St. Lawrence Toot Baldon [2023] ECC Oxf 10

The petitioner's late wife's ashes had been interred in the grave of her mother in 2019. The petitioner had obtained the approval of the Team Vicar to the laying of a ledger stone in memory of his wife on the grave. The stone was not one which was authorised under the churchyards regulations, which the Team Vicar had failed to appreciate. This oversight came to light when a couple who had known the petitioner's wife, wrote to the Diocesan Registry to object to the stone being outside the regulations and out of keeping with other stones in the churchyard. The Chancellor decided ("Not without some hesitation ...") to allow the stone to remain, as the petitioner had "the full support of the minister, the churchwardens, the PCC, the DAC, and the petitioner’s family, and for powerful pastoral considerations".

Re St. Thomas the Apostle Killinghall [2023] ECC Lee 4

The main issue was a proposal to sell two paintings which had been stored in the church for some years. The Church Buildings Council advised against sale of the two paintings, which were nineteenth century and of religious subjects, on the grounds of their connection with the church and their religious subject-matter. A professional valuation had put a value of £125-£150 on each painting. The Chancellor determined to grant a faculty for the sale. The paintings had been stored several years and were deteriorating and were unlikely to be displayed again, the connection with the church was tenuous and the paintings were of very modest value.

Re Edgewell Cemetery [2023] ECC New 4

The petitioner applied for a faculty to authorise the exhumation of a relative and reinterment in an adjoining grave. The relative had reserved two plots, one for her sister and one for herself. Owing to a mistake, the relative was buried in her sister's grave. The Chancellor determined that the mistake justified the grant of a faculty for exhumation and reinterment.

Re St. Michael and All Angels Byker [2023] ECC New 5

The petition proposed extensive reordering works, both inside and outside the church, in order to adapt the church for use as a multi-purpose building with a dedicated worship space, an outdoor activity and play area and a Youth Hub extension. The Victorian Society, whilst not wishing to be a party to the proceedings, objected to the length of the proposed extension and its wood cladding. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the missional advantages of the proposed works outweighed the harm alleged.

Re St. Thomas the Martyr Newcastle upon Tyne [2023] ECC New 6

A faculty had been granted in 2021 ([2021] ECC New 1) for a major reordering to meet the church's needs and support its mission following its designation as a Resource Church. The present petition proposed the restoration of the Harrison & Harrison organ (which was no longer in a playable condition) in two phases over a period of ten years. One person objected on grounds of cost, but did not wish to become a party to the proceedings. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the first phase of the work to be completed within five years, with leave for the petitioner to apply in five years' time for an extension of the faculty to authorise the second phase.

Re All Saints Stretton-on-Dunsmore [2023] ECC Cov 2

The petitioner wished to have erected on her husband's grave a headstone including the design of three stylised heraldic lions, as her husband had a tattoo of three lions. The Chancellor was concerned that the design of the lions was similar to part of the Royal Arms of England, and to the three lions design licensed by the Crown to be used by the England football and cricket teams. In the absence of permission from the Crown to use the design, the Chancellor refused to permit the design on the headstone. However, he did permit the inscription on the headstone to include the deceased's nickname and the words 'Husband, Dad and Grandad'.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Pettistree [2023] ECC SEI 3

In 2014, the inspecting architect had recommended Zinsser Grade 1 paint for the redecoration of the interior of the church as authorised by faculty. The paint proved to be totally unsuitable. It was impermeable, and the migration of salts from the walls to the paint layer caused it to expand and flake. In 2017, the Chancellor ruled that the Zinsser paint should be removed and the walls repainted with limewash or an alternative paint approved as an amendment to the original faculty. Options put forward by a new architect were (a) to maintain scaffolding in the nave for 5 years to monitor the condition of the walls before further repainting, or (b) replastering and repainting, which would destroy fragments of old wall paintings. The Church Buildings Council, Historic England and the Society for the protection of Ancient Buildings rejected both (a) and (b), preferring overpainting, which the Parochial Church Council did not consider would solve the problem of the Zinsser paint flaking in future. The Chancellor granted a faculty to remove the Zinsser paint from the walls, and also the plaster beneath it and then to apply new render to the walls, followed by a suitable number of coats of limewash to the fresh wall surface.

Re St. George Fordington [2023] ECC Sal 1

In 1991, the petitioners’ third child was stillborn due to trauma sustained by her mother in a car accident. The baby was cremated and the ashes were interred in Fordington churchyard. The petitioners had been living in Fordington at the time. They now lived elsewhere and wished to have the baby's ashes interred in the churchyard at Dewlish, a short distance away, where three generations of the baby's father's family were buried, and where the petitioners wished to be buried in due course. Following the guidelines in Re Blagden Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, the Chancellor decided that the circumstances did not justify the grant of a faculty for exhumation.

Re Lonan Cemetery [2023] EC Sodor 2

The body of a man had been found by Manx fishermen 10 nautical miles north of Ramsey, Isle of Man. At the time it was impossible to identify the body and it was buried in Lonan Cemetery. Ten years later it was possible to match retained genetic material from the deceased with that of members of the family of a man from Wicklow in Ireland, who had last been seen in December 2012. The deceased's partner applied for a faculty for exhumation from Lonan Cemetery and reinterment in a cemetery in County Wicklow next to the graves of members of the deeased's family. The Vicar General and Chancellor of the Diocese of Sodor and Man considered that there were exceptional circumstances which justified the grant of a faculty.

Re Holy Trinity and St. Jude Halifax [2023] ECC Lee 3

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.

Re Spalding Cemetery [2023] ECC Lin 3

The petitioner, of Polish origin, wished to exhume her mother's ashes from the cemetery in Spalding and have them taken to Poland and interred in the grave of her father in a Polish cemetery. The petitioner was planning to return to Poland permanently and had no relatives left in England. All her late relatives' graves were in Poland. The Chancellor decided that special circumstances existed for exhumation to be permitted and he therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. John the Evangelist Crosby-on-Eden [2023] ECC Car 3

The petition proposed a ramped access at the entrance to the church, a kitchenette at the west end of the church and the erection of a single storey extension to house a WC. Four individuals presented written objections, but the Diocesan Advisory Committee, Historic Buildings and Places and the Church Buildings Council approved of the proposals. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had presented a sufficiently good case for the proposals and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary Piercebridge [2023] ECC Dur 3

The petition proposed several items of reordering, in order to adapt the church for both sacred and community use. The items included: replacement of the pews with chairs; replacement of the stone font with a moveable wooden font; removal of an old reed organ; creation of a lobby at the west end of the church, and kitchen, toilet and storage facilities; electrical wiring and light fittings; and water and space heating. The Chancellor was satisfied that the community would benefit from the new proposals and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Radegunda Grayingham [2023] ECC Lin 2

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of his wife exhumed from just outside the south nave wall, as it was proposed to build a small extension to the church over the site of the interment. The petitioner's reason for making the application was that he wished his wife's ashes to be moved to a part of the churchyard where his own ashes could in due time be buried with hers. The Chancellor determeined that this was an appropriate case in which to grant a faculty.

Re St. Andrew Bulmer [2023] ECC Chd 3

The petition proposed the replacement of the Victorian pine pews in the nave and north aisle with “Theo” beech chairs manufactured by Trinityex Church Furniture and also the replacement of the pew heaters with chandelier heaters. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had put forward a convincing justification for the removal of the pews. The heating proposal was for six “medieval style” chandeliers, each having three 1.0kw low glow infra-red radiant heaters and three up-lighters with LED candle type lamps. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings did not approve of the type of chandelier and suggested a larger, more expensive model. The Chancellor decided that the type proposed by the petitioners should be allowed, as it would meet the parish's needs at a reasonable cost and would be aesthetically acceptable.

Re St. Paul Caton-with-Littledale [2023] ECC Bla 6

The petitioners wished to reserve a single-width, double-depth grave space in the churchyard. The vicar and the Parochial Church Council did not support this application or the reservation of further graves generally. The present churchyard would be full within 5 to 7 years, possibly 10. However, there was a further piece of land, currently used as a recreational area, which could in future be consecrated and enable burials to continue for about 50 years. On the facts of this particular case, the Chancellor determined that it was appropriate to grant a faculty, but to limit it to a period of seven years, with permission to apply (by letter) within the last year to extend beyond that time.

Re All Saints Lydiard Millicent [2023] ECC Bri 4

An extensive programme of reordering was proposed. The sticking points were the removal of the pews, the replacement of the flooring and the introduction of underfloor heating. The Chancellor approved the replacement of the flooring and introduction of underfloor heating, but he was not satisfied that the petitioners had made an adequate case for the complete removal of the pews.

Lydbrook PCC v Forest of Dean DC [2004] Gloucester County Court

Lydbrook Parochial Church Council sought an order requiring the District Council ("DC") to fulfil its liability to maintain Lydbrook's closed churchyard. The DC sought to have the proceedings struck out because (1) proceedings for judicial review were the appropriate way of dealing with this type of matter; or (2) there was no prospect of success, or (3) the claimants had not agreed to the matter been dealt with through alternative dispute resolution. The judge determined that it was appropriate for the matter to be dealt with by the County Court. The applications to strike out and for summary judgment were dismissed. To avoid substantial costs, the judge ordered a stay of proceeedings in order to allow the parties time to resolve their dispute.

Re Removal of a Commemorative Plaque for Safeguarding Reasons [2023] ECC Oxf 9

The Chancellor gave an anonymised judgment in order to protect the privacy of anyone who might be affected by the judgment. The petition requested authority for the removal of a commemorative plaque, which had been installed without faculty on a window sill inside the church. The plaque recorded that the window above it had been restored by a local farmer and former long-serving churchwarden, who had died in his 80s. It had been brought to the attention of the Parochial Church Council that in the 1950s the former churchwarden had been convicted on four charges of sexual abuse. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioner had demonstrated a sufficiently good reason justifying the removal of the commemorative plaque.

Re St. Margaret Lower Halstow [2023] ECC Can 3

The petitioners wished to reserve a single-width, double-depth grave space. They did not live in the parish, but attended the church occasionally and supported the church financially. Some parishioners objected to graves being reserved, saying that interments should be on a "first come, first served" basis. The Chancellor determined that it was appropriate to grant a faculty in this case: the petitioners had shown a sufficient connection with the church; at the time when the petition was lodged, the PCC had no formal policy about grave reservations; the PCC had supported the petition; and there was space in the churchyard for 20-30 years of burials.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Stebbing [2023] ECC Chd 2

Various items of reordering of the church were proposed. Several concerns and objections had been expressed by the statutory consultees, and revisions to the plans had been made. The Chancellor granted a faculty based on the revised proposals. The judgment contains some advice to petitioners in general concerning adequate consultation with the statutory consultees and the preparation of clear plans and specifications, particularly where plans and specifications have been amended.

Re St. John the Baptist Witheridge [2023] ECC Exe 2

A faculty had been granted in 2022 for reordering in the church, including the introduction of stackable chairs for temporary use at the back of the nave. It had been a condition of the faculty that the design of the chairs should be approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee ("DAC"). The petitioners had chosen a Canterbury style chair from Alpha Furniture, but the DAC was not prepared to approve this design due to the chair having a curved back. The Chancellor had therefore been asked to settle the matter. The Chancellor decided that the overall impact of the chairs on the interior of the church would not be great, at the same time accepting the petitioners' view that the curved backs of the chairs would be more comfortable than flat backed ones. He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. James Piccadilly [2023] ECC Lon 4

Extensive works to the inside and the outside of the church were proposed. The only item in contention was the proposed erection of a new thatched pavilion building in the south-west corner of the churchyard. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings objected that thatch would be an incongruous material to use in an urban environment; it would be a fire risk; and thatching material might be difficult to source now or for replacement in the future. Given that the Planning Authority was satisfied that the single-storey new building would not have any deleterious effect on the churchyard and the church, the Chancellor saw no reason for refusing to grant a faculty.

Re St. John the Baptist Aldbury [2023] ECC StA 6

The petitioners proposed works to improve the entrance to the church by installing a disabled access ramp and creating a welcoming open area by modifying and removing a few pews and installation of bookcases, cupboards and noticeboards. There were several objections, but no objectors became parties opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that a case was made for the proposals, apart from the removal of two half pews on the east side of the cross-aisle.

Re St. Lawrence Bovingdon [2023] ECC StA 7

The petitioners sought a faculty for an extension to be added to the north side of the church and for internal re-ordering, including replacement of the pews with partially upholstered chairs, some new furniture, disposal of the pulpit and lectern, the relocation of a chest tomb, and the introduction of a nave plinth. The Victorian Society argued that the loss of all the pews would rob the church of its character, and the removal of the pulpit could not be justified. Also, it did not consider upholstered seating appropriate. A number of parishioners also raised objections. Taking the proposals as a whole, the Chancellor was satisfied that they would provide a better environment for the varied worshipping needs of the church, community events and provision for children's activities. The Chancellor therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Bampton [2023] ECC Exe 1

The petitioners applied for a Faculty to permit the early nineteenth century reredos, which had been temporarily removed, to be permanently removed from its original position in front of the East window and relocated to hang above the doorway in the centre of the West wall. In addition permission was sought to replaster the East wall of the Chancel in such a way as to preserve the medieval wall painting that has been uncovered by the removal of the reredos. The Diocesan Advisory Committee and heritage bodies did not support the proposals. The parishioners did not wish the reredos to be returned to the east end of the chancel, as its removal had resulted in considerably more light in the chancel. A report by historic building consultants supported the proposal. The Chancellor determined in principle that the reredos should not be returned to the chancel, subject to a feasible proposal being put forward and approved for its mounting on the west wall.

Re Holy Rood Edwalton [2023] ECC S&N 2

The petitioner wished to have the ashes of his father, who died in 2002, exhumed from a plot of land adjacent to the churchyard. There was a question as to whether the plot of land, known as the "church garden", adjoining the churchyard, was consecrated and therefore within the faculty jurisdiction. The petitioner's mother died in 2020. It had been her wish that her ashes should be buried with her husband's ashes. Permission to do so had been refused by the incumbent, as he believed the church garden was not consecrated. The Chancellor determined that (a) the effect of Section 5 of the Consecration of Churchyards Act 1867, under which the land had been gifted, was to add the church garden land to the churchyard, and it therefore came within the court's jurisdiction; (b) the church garden had not been consecrated; and (c) that, in the circumstances, a faculty should be granted for the removal of the ashes (if practicable) or, alternatively, for the ashes of the Petitioner's mother to be interred with her husband's ashes.

Re All Saints Stanton [2023] ECC SEI 2

Several items of reordering were proposed. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Victorian Society (though not formal parties to the proceedings) objected to the design of the new access on the north side of the church, the proposed quartz heaters and the replacement of the pews with chairs. The Chancellor was satisfied that the benefit of the changes would outweigh any harm to the church and he granted a faculty.

Re St. George Fatfield [2023] ECC Dur 2

A boy aged 13, a keen footballer, had been killed when knocked off his bicycle by a speeding motorist. He was buried in the churchyard. The family wished to erect a memorial which included features outside the diocese's Churchyard Rules, namely, polished black granite with gold lettering; in the top left quarter, a large image of a young man with a football at his feet, standing in front of a stairway leading to heaven, with light beams at the top of the stairway radiating out from a heart; in the top right quarter an inscription giving names, dates and relationships; and in the lower half of the memorial a poem 8 lines long and containing 90 words. The Chancellor accepted that there were already several memorials of polished black stone with gilded lettering in the churchyard and that a faculty should not be refused for another. However, his decision was that a faculty would be granted if there was an acceptable smaller image, and if a much shorter inscription could be agreed for the lower half of the memorial, the revised design to be approved by the court.

Re St. John the Evangelist Penge [2023] ECC Roc 3

The pews and clergy stalls in the chancel had been removed under an Archdeacon's Licence for Temporary Reordering in 2014. For the reasons explained in the judgment, they were still in storage. The petitioners now requested a faculty for the permanent removal of the pews and stalls and their replacement with chairs. Since 2014, the style of worship and the uses to which the chancel were put had changed, to allow for a range of community outreach activities, including work with young children. The Chancellor granted a faculty. The pews and stalls had been removed 9 years previously, and if her were to impose an obligation to return the pews, "the worship and work of the church would be positively hindered and damaged".

Re St. Helen Thorganby [2023] ECC Yor 3

The petition proposed the introduction of permanently fixed audio-visual equipment (a projector and a retractable screen) to replace the existing use of a free-standing projector placed in the aisle and a screen balanced on the pulpit. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the proposed equipment would not harm the significance of the church; would remove risks of accidents; and would support the church in its mission.

Re St. Anselm Kennington Cross [2023] ECC Swk 6

The petition proposed a reordering, the main item of which was to construct a 'tower' three storey structure at the east end of the church (which was consecrated in 1933) to provide room facilities on three levels. One wall of the new facilities would become a reredos for the remaining east end space, which would continue to be used for worship. Other items proposed included the removal of the baldachino and the removal of two very large murals (affixed to, not painted on) the walls of the nave, and the moving of the font to the east end of the south aisle. The Chancellor granted a faculty for all the items, except for the moving of the font.

Re St. Mary & St. John the Divine Balham [2023] ECC Swk 7

The petitioners wished to replace the existing three gas heating boilers with three new gas boilers. Whilst the amended Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 provided that due regard must be paid to the Church of England’s net zero guidance, the petitioners had been unable to find an alternative system at reasonable cost, and the proposed new boilers would be more efficient than the old ones. The Diocesan Advisory Committee had accordingly recommended the proposed system. The Chancellor granted a faculty. Although some Chancellors have in similar cases imposed a condition relating to offsetting, in order to meet the challenge of meeting carbon neutrality, the Chancellor decided not to impose such a condition in this case.

Re Christ Church Gipsy Hill [2023] ECC Swk 8

The petitioners sought permission to replace a gas fired cabinet heater in the church with a new condensing gas heater. The Parochial Church Council had looked carefully at the alternative options. Heat pumps were not viable. It would be a possible alternative to install electric heaters, but these would be very expensive to install, less energy efficient, unsightly and expensive to run. The Diocesan Advisory Committee had certified that the petitioners have considered the Church of England’s net zero guidance, and they recommended the proposals. The Chancellor granted a faculty, without imposing a condition regarding carbon offsetting.

Re Bretforton Cemetery [2023] ECC Wor 2

Owing to a mistake by a firm of undertakers, they had failed to comply with the instructions of the petitioner that the bulk of his mother's cremated remains should be interred in the cemetery, but that a small proportion of the ashes should be retained so that they could be symbolically scattered in accordance with the deceased's expressed wishes. The family discovered shortly after the funeral that the whole of the cremated remains had been interred. The Chancellor decided that the circumstances of the petition fitted within the legal exceptions to the doctrine of permanence and accordingly granted a faculty to allow the cremated remains to be exhumed, a portion of the ashes to be taken for scattering, and the remainder of the ashes to be reinterred in the grave plot.

Re St. John Fishponds [2023] ECC Bri 3

The petition proposed the disposal of all the pews in the unlisted Church dedicated in 1911 and their replacement with two sets of upholstered chairs in two different colours, some orange and some blue. The chairs were being donated by a local Methodist church. The Victorian Society did not object to the removal of the pews, but objected to the proposed chairs, which "would cause undue harm to the building’s special interest, character and charm". Notwithstanding this view, the Chancellor decided to grant a faculty.

Re Hereford Cemetery [2023] ECC Her 1

The petitioner's father had died in 1970 and his ashes had been interred in a casket in Hereford Cemetery. The petitioner's mother had died in 2022 and her ashes had not yet been interred. The petitioner wished to have her father's ashes exhumed so that her mother's ashes could be mingled with her father's ashes and the casket then reinterred, in order to fulfil her mother's wishes as expressed in a document dated 29 January 2017. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Christian burial should be treated as permanent, and exhumation should not be allowed unless in exceptional circumstances. The petitioner's mother's wish did not amount to exceptional circumstances.

Re Allerton Cemetery [2023] ECC Liv 3

The petitioner sought a faculty to authorise the exhumation of his father's cremated remains from the family plot of his mother's family and to reinter the remains in a new plot in which the petitioner's mother's cremated remains could be interred in due course. The Petitioner's mother had not realised at the time of her husband's death that there was only one space left in her family's plot. This had caused the petitioner's mother a lot of distress since the interment, as she wished her remains in due course to be buried with her husband's remains. The Deputy Chancellor determined that the circumstances of the present case were such as to warrant an exception to the general rule that human remains, once interred, should not be disturbed, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Michael le Belfrey York [2023] ECC Yor 2

St. Michael le Belfrey York is a Grade I 16th century church standing next to York Minster. It is a Resource Church for York Diocese and the Northern Province. It has a weekly congregation of 500+ and has plans for further growth. The Faculty petition contained plans for a major reordering, estimated to cost £10m (of which £8m was already obtained or pledged). The work would involve major changes to the historic fabric, including (inter alia) removal of the gallery and stairs and replacement with a new gallery with lift access; replacement of pews with chairs; and the installation of a full immersion baptism pool. The Chancellor found there to be exceptional levels of public benefit to be derived from the works and compelling reasons to permit the works, notwithstanding the loss of historic fabric and fittings, in order to enable this vibrant and thriving church to meet its missional objectives.

Re St. Barnabas Ranmore [2023] ECC Gui 6

The petitioner wished to exhume the cremated remains of her husband from the churchyard at Ranmore in Surrey and reinter them in the churchyard at Fulbourn in Cambridgeshire. The deceased's remains had been interred in 2011, and in 2022 the petitioner had moved to live in Cambridgeshire. The petitioner was concerned that in years to come she might become physically unable to visit her husband's grave in Surrey. The Deputy Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Following the guidance in the Court of Arches decision in re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] 4 All ER 482, moving residence was not an exceptional reason to justify a departure from the normal rule that interment in consecrated ground should be regarded as permanent.

Re Hall Road Cemetery Rochford [2023] ECC Chd 1

The burial authority applied for a faculty for exhumation and reinterment. Owing to a mistake by the authority, some cremated remains had been interred in a plot reserved for someone else, rather than in the plot reserved for the deceased. The Chancellor granted a faculty, following the guidance in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299 that, "Sometimes genuine mistakes do occur, for example, a burial may take place in the wrong burial plot in a cemetery or in a space reserved for someone else in a churchyard. In such cases it may be those responsible for the cemetery or churchyard who apply for a faculty to exhume the remains from the wrong burial plot or grave. Faculties can in these circumstances readily be granted ..."

Re St. Mary Ecclesfield [2023] ECC She 2

The proposal was to create a prayer chapel in the north transept of the church by moving to the centre a stored medieval stone mensa resting on a stone base. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the works did not affect the church as a building of special historical or architectural significance.

Re St. Mary Reepham [2023] ECC Nor 2

The local branch of the Royal British legion wished to place a war memorial in the churchyard at its own expense. There were two objectors (neither of them a party opponent), one objecting to the proposed type of stone, and the other objecting to the proposed location of the memorial, the colour of it and the lettering. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re All Saints Scotby [2023] ECC Car 2

The petitioners wished urgently to install in the church a new gas boiler, to replace the existing 35 years old boiler (which had been condemned) and to make improvements to the heating system and boiler room. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not approve the proposal. It took the view that the petitioners had not fully considered the alternatives to using fossil fuel. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioners had in fact considered all the available alternative heating systems, and that the system proposed was the only viable option that the church could afford. The Faculty was to be subject to a condition that the church either switched to a green gas tariff or entered into a separate arrangement with a carbon off-setting scheme to offset the carbon emissions from all non-renewable gas used.

Re St. Mark Haydock [2023] ECC Liv 2

The Parochial Church Council ("PCC") wished to replace the existing heating system with a new condensing boiler and wall-mounted fan convectors and radiators in the ungraded church. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the PCC had considered all alternative options and that the chosen system, "whilst not perfect in terms of carbon emission, was nevertheless a significant stride forward compared to the current system."

Re St. Thomas Kilnhurst [2023] ECC She 1

The petitioner wished to reserve a grave space next to the grave of her son, who had died in an accident aged 28 in 2022, so that the remains of members of the family who could not be buried in her son's grave could be buried in the grave next to his. The Parochial Church Council voted not to support the grave reservation. Whilst understanding the petitioner's desire to reserve a grave next to her son's, the Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for a number of reasons as set out in the judgment, including that the petitioner's son's grave (which was triple-depth) had further capacity for burials and interments of ashes; other family members were buried in various parts of the churchyard 9and here was capacity for further interments in some of them); the churchyard had capacity for burials for many years to come; and the reservation would set a precedent which would hamper the fair management of the churchyard.

Re St. Paul East Molesey [2023] ECC Gui 5

The petition contained a number of reordering proposals designed to allow the church and parish room to work together or to be used independently of each other and to provide better facilities and a more flexible and attractive space within the church for use by the congregation and the wider community. There was an objection to the moving of the war memorial, in order to unblock the original north porchway and create a better access to the parish room. The Chancellor determined that there was a strong justification for the proposals and he granted a faculty.

Re Burnley Cemetery [2023] ECC Bla 4

The husband and wife petitioners' son had taken his own life at the age of 23 in 2007. The petitioners had wished at the time to have their son's body buried in the churchyard of Haggart Baptist Church, where several relatives of the husband were buried. At the time they were advised that there was no family grave in which their son could be buried, so the petitioners' arranged burial in Burnley Cemetery. As they got older, the petitioners purchased a new triple-depth plot at Haggart as a family grave and hoped that their son's remains could be moved there and that they could be buried there with him in due time. The Chancellor determined that there were sufficient exceptional circumstances to justify exhumation and reinterment. Amongst other reasons, there was a family grave which had been purchased at the Baptist church, and the petitioners had been unaware at the time of their son's burial that he had been buried in a consecrated part of the cemetery and the implications of that.

Re St Mary & All Saints Willingham [2023] ECC Ely 4

The church wished to sell a 16th century chalice and paten and a 17th century Paten, which had been valued at £18,500, £8,500 and £5,500 respectively. The reasons given for the proposed sale were that the items were not used for health and safety and security reasons, and the church could not afford to insure the items to their full value. They were currently stored at a bank changing £750 per year for storage. Although the usual presumption is against the sale of church treasures, except in exceptional circumstances, the petitioners claimed that there were exceptional circumstances - principally, inability to pay the parish share and the quinquennial report indicating that £80,000 needed to be spent on repairs. The Chancellor, however refused to grant a faculty, as he was not satisfied that the petitioners had explored all possible ways of resolving the church's current financial position.

Re St. Mary Denver [2023] ECC Ely 3

There was an application for a faculty to authorise a polished green granite memorial, including an etching of a rose picked out in blue. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty on the grounds that some features of the proposed memorial were outside the churchyards regulations and no good reason had been advanced for allowing an exception.

Re Christ Church Swindon [2023] ECC Bri 2

The Parochial Church Council ("PCC") wished to make improvements to a section of the Garden of Remembrance, where ashes were interred and memorial plaques laid. The works would include laying a new path, which would necessitate moving a few plaques. A lady objected to the moving of three family plaques and three rose bushes next to them. The works were temporarily put on hold. However, before the proposals were placed before the Chancellor, and before the objector had a chance to discuss the matter with the PCC, the plaques were removed and the roses were uprooted and disposed of. The objector had a meeting with the PCC and agreed to withdraw her objection, if the plaques were reinstated and the rose bushes replaced. The Chancellor agreed to grant a faculty for the works subject to conditions which included that the plaques were to be reinstated in positions to be agreed with the objector.

Re St. Mary Newchurch-in-Pendle [2023] ECC Bla 5

The petitioner wished to reserve a cremation plot next to the plot where the ashes of her son, who had died in a tragic accident, were interred in 2019. The Chancellor granted a faculty. However, the Chancellor took into account that there were only nine plots left for the burial of ashes; the annual rate of ashes interments was one per year; and the petitioner was only 46 years of age. He therefore limited the grant to a period of 10 years, with leave for the petitioner to apply for an extension within the last of the ten years, when the Chancellor's successor could decide whether to allow an extension, depending on the circumstances at that time.

Re St. Leonard Hythe [2023] EACC 1

In Re St. Leonard Hythe [2023] ECC Can 2, the petitioner had applied for a restoration order in respect of an altar which had been moved to the head of the nave, on the basis that no lawful authority had been granted for such use. The Commissary General had dismissed the petitioner's application. The petitioner applied for leave to appeal. The Dean of the Arches refused to grant leave to appeal. The main ground of appeal was that it was unlawful to move an altar in a church without the authority of a faculty. The Dean referred to Canon F2, which states that, if there is any dispute as to where an altar is to be positioned, it should be determined by the Ordinary. In relation to another ground of appeal, that the altar had been installed without authority, the Dean pointed out that, as the altar had been installed more than six years ago, the court had no jurisdiction to make a restoration order (Section 72, Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018).

Re St. Peter Bishop's Waltham [2023] ECC Por 1

The parish sought permission for the removal of most of the remaining pews, in order to create more flexible and informal spaces for family, musical and other activities. The Victorian Society questioned the need to remove the pews. A private individual objected on grounds of insufficient consultation; a reduction in seating capacity; cost; and whether there was a need for the pews to be removed. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case and he granted a faculty. Any replacement seating would have to be approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

Re Fulling Mill Lane Cemetery Welwyn [2023] ECC StA 4

The petitioners' daughter had died aged 20 in a car accident in 1988 and her ashes had been interred in the cemetery. The petitioners wished to exhume the ashes and reinter them in a full-size plot in the same cemetery, which would become a family grave. There was no evidence of an existing legal right to a grave which could become a family grave. The Chancellor envisaged that, if the petition were dismissed and a family grave was subsequently purchased, the situation would then be different. He was not satisfied that the present circumstances justified exhumation. However, he determined to grant a faculty (without limit of time), which would allow the exhumation and reinterment of the ashes at the time of the first burial of one of the family members identified in the judgment in a grave intended to be a family grave.

Re Sheringham Town Cemetery [2023] ECC Nor 1

The petitioners' father's ashes had been interred in the cemetery in 2004 in a plot reserved for the ashes of him and his wife. Some years later, the petitioners' mother had decided that she did not wish her ashes to be buried with those of her husband, but wanted them scattered where she used to walk her dog. She had also expressed a wish that here husband's ashes be exhumed and scattered in the same place. The petitioners' mother died in 2023. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty to allow the petitioners' father's ashes to be exhumed and scattered. There was no legal basis on which to justify exhumation. There had been no mistake as to the place of burial, but simply a change of mind after a long period of time, which was not a proper reason for allowing an exception to the general rule that burial should be regarded as final.

Re St. Catherine & St. Paul Hoddesdon [2023] ECC StA 5

The proposal was to remove 26 pews and 3 pew fronts; relocate the mounts for the churchwardens' staves; and move an existing monitor to a new position in the gallery. An archdeacon's temporary reordering licence had already been granted, whereby the pews have been stored and 70 stackable chairs already owned by the church had been used in the nave. The Chancellor was satisfied that the pews should be replaced with chairs. She also agreed to the relocation of mounts for the churchwardens' staves to the pillars either side of the entrance to the church and the installation of the monitor on a retractable bracket on the north side wall of the gallery.

Re Sheringham Town Cemetery [2023] ECC Nor 1

The petitioners' father's ashes had been interred in the cemetery in 2004 in a plot reserved for the ashes of him and his wife. Some years later, the petitioners' mother had decided that she did not wish her ashes to be buried with those of her husband, but wanted them scattered where she used to walk her dog. She had also expressed a wish that here husband's ashes be exhumed and scattered in the same place. The petitioners' mother died in 2023. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty to allow the petitioners' father's ashes to be exhumed and scattered. There was no legal basis on which to justify exhumation. There had been no mistake as to the place of burial, but simply a change of mind after a long period of time, which was not a proper reason for allowing an exception to the general rule that burial should be regarded as final.

Re St. John Stockcross [2023] ECC Oxf 8

The petitioner wished to reserve a grave space. It was estimated that there were enough grave spaces in the churchyard for a period of 11 years. The Chancellor had given a preliminary indication that he was prepared to grant a reservation for 11 years, but the petitioner had objected to such a short period. The normal period allowed in the Diocese of Oxford was 25 years. The Chancellor determined that a faculty should be granted to reserve a grave for 11 years, giving the petitioner leave to apply for an extension during the final year, when the Chancellor's successor could decide whether to allow an extension, depending on the circumstances at that time.

Re Streatham Park Cemetery [2023] ECC Swk5

The petitioner's brother had died, aged 5, in 1970 and his remains were interred in a consecrated part of Streatham Park Cemetery. It had been the hope of the petitioner's parents that they would be able to be buried next to their son. The petitioner's mother having recently died, it was discovered that the she could not be buried next to her son. The petitioner therefore sought a faculty to have her brother's remains exhumed and the grave dug deeper to allow the reinterment of her brother's remains, the interment of her mother and, in due time the interment of her father. The Chancellor determined that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty: "... family graves are intrinsically a good thing, as expressive of family unity and making economical use of grave space. The creation of a family grave formed part of the exceptional circumstances arising in Blagdon." [Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 291 (Court of Arches)]

Re Brookwood Cemetery [2023] ECC Gui 4

The petitioner's father had died young in a car accident in 1967, when the family lived in Surrey. His ashes were interred in Brookwood Cemetery, near where the family lived. The Petitioner's mother moved to Australia two years after her husband's death, leaving her three children in England. The children now lived in London, Andover and Australia. It was the wish of the petitioner and her two siblings that their father's ashes be exhumed and reinterred in the churchyard of St. Mary Conistone in North Yorkshire, where a number of family members were buried, though there was no family plot. Following the guiding principles in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] 4 All ER 482, the Deputy Chancellor could find no exceptional circumstances to justify exhumation after such a long period of time.

Re Holy Trinity Westcott [2023] ECC Gui 3

The petitioners wished to remove the remaining 19 pews in the church nave and replace them with chairs (of the award-winning 'Theo' design) and to modify and restore the floor to create a single level worship space across the main body of the church. The aim was to permit people to participate in a wider range of worship and other church and community activities. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the pews, but later withdrew their objection. The Chancellor granted a faculty, finding that there was a clear justification for the proposals in order to meet the need for flexibility in the modern use of the church building.

Re West Norwood Cemetery [2023] ECC Swk 4

In 1995, the remains of the petitioner's late mother's stillborn child were interred in the consecrated children's section of West Norwood Cemetery. In 2022/2023, the petitioner's mother was terminally ill. It was not possible for her remains to be interred with those of her stillborn daughter. She therefore reserved a double depth plot in unconsecrated land at Mitcham Road Cemetery, Croydon, for herself and her husband (both Roman Catholics) and an adjoining plot, hoping that her stillborn daughter's remains could be move there. The petitioner's mother died in March 2023. The Chancellor determined that there were circumstances which justified an exception to the norm of permanence of burial, namely, ignorance of the fact of consecration and the creation of a family grave. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary Ingleton [2023] ECC Lee 2

A faculty had been granted for some reordering work at the church. Subsequently, the team vicar had received a letter of objection within the period for objections, but it was not sent to the registry before the expiry of time for objections and issue of the faculty. To ensure justice to all concerned, the Chancellor therefore set aside his decision pending consideration of the objection. Having considered the letter of objection, the Chancellor determined that the likely harm to the church was minimal and that any such harm would be outweighed by the benefit to the community. He therefore directed the issue of a faculty.

Re Cottingley Hall Cemetery [2023] ECC Lee 1

Owing to a mistake by the burial authority, the remains of the petitioner's mother had been interred in a grave reserved for someone else. The petitioner applied for a faculty for exhumation of his mother's remains and their reinterment in the grave where they should have been interred. The Chancellor, following the guidance in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] 3 WLR 603, determined that an error in administration in this case amounted to an exceptional circumstance permitting the principal of permanence of Christian burial to be set aside, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary Redcliffe [2023] ECC Bri 1

In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 and the Black Lives Matter protests around the world, a statue of Edward Colston, who had been involved in the slave trade in the seventeenth century, was pulled down by protestors from its pedestal in Bristol and thrown into the harbour. The church of St. Mary Redcliffe contains four tall windows in the north transept. The illustrations in the stained glass depict the Corporal Acts of Mercy and the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The panels at the bottom of the four windows showed that the windows were dedicated to Edward Colston. There was concern at the church that protestors might try to damage the windows, and it was decided to remove the commemorative panels, with a view to replacing them with stained glass images which would not connect the windows with Colston. They applied for a confirmatory faculty, which the Chancellor granted: " ... the contrast between [Colston's] own life and the seven Corporal Acts of Mercy is too jarring to be acceptable in a church."

Re Streatham Cemetery [2023] ECC Swk 3

The burial authority sought authorisation to reuse two areas of Streatham Cemetery largely free of memorials. The Chancellor considered that the proposals were in principle both acceptable and commendable, to facilitate the economical use of land and to address the continuing shortage of grave space. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. James Barkham [2023] ECC Oxf 7

The petitioner applied for a faculty to authorise the installation of a dark grey, unpolished, upright granite memorial to mark the grave of his late wife. The proposed memorial fell outside the scope of the churchyards regulations for the Diocese of Oxford. The design incorporated two carved hearts. The petitioner wished to have a design similar to the one for his mother's memorial (for which a faculty had been granted) just a few feet away from the petitioner's wife's grave. The Chancellor granted a faculty. A faculty had already been granted to the family for a similar memorial; there was room in the churchyard for only about 12-15 burials, so the chances of further applications for similar memorials was small; and there were pastoral reasons supporting the grant of a faculty.

Re Astwood Cemetery Worcester [2023] ECC Wor 1

The petitioner wished to exhume the cremated remains of her father and reinter them with the remains of her late mother in unconsecrated, privately-owned farmland in Gloucestershire. She also intended that her own remains and those of her brother would in due course be placed in the same intended grave site on the private land. For the reasons given in the judgment, the Chancellor was not persuaded that the proposed location was suitable for burial, such that remains entrusted to consecrated ground should be permitted to be relocated there and, following the guidelines in Re Blagdon Cemetery, the circumstances were not sufficiently exceptional that a faculty should be granted for the proposed exhumation and reinterment.

Re Bloxwich Cemetery [2023] ECC Lic 1

The body of a member of the petitioner's family had been interred in the cemetery in 1969, and the intention had been that the coffin would be buried sufficiently deep that three family coffins could be accommodated in the grave. When a second body was interred in 2022, it was discovered that there would not be sufficient room for a third interment. The petitioner therefore sought a faculty to allow the temporary exhumation of the two coffins in the grave, so that the grave could be dug deeper and the two coffins reinterred, thus enabling a third interment in the grave in due course. The Chancellor was satisfied that a mistake had been made in 1969, therefore the case was sufficiently exceptional to warrant the grant of a faculty as requested.

Re St. Peter Bourton-on-Dunsmore [2023] ECC Cov 1

The petitioner sought a faculty giving her the right to be buried in the same grave as her late partner. There had been a rift in the past between the petitioner and the deceased's mother. (See Re St. Peter Bourton-on-Dunsmore [2022] ECC Cov 6, where the same petitioner sought to have reference to herself added to her partner's memorial (commissioned by his mother), but her application was refused.) In the present case, the deceased's mother did not object to the petitioner having the right to be buried in the same grave. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Andrew Sonning [2023] ECC Oxf 6

The deputy churchwarden applied for a retrospective faculty in respect of the felling of a lime tree in the churchyard, which had become dangerous. The local authority had approved the felling of the tree. The Diocesan Advisory Committee recommended the granting of a faculty, and the majority of the members of the Parochial Church Council supported the felling of the tree. As the parish had not sought List B consent from the Archdeacon under the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules, it was now necessary for them to obtain a faculty. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioner had shown a sufficiently good reason for the felling of the tree, and he granted a faculty, subject to a condition (inter alia) that a replacement tree should be planted.

Re St. Nicholas Kingsey [2023] ECC Oxf 5

The Rector and Churchwardens applied for a faculty for the removal from the churchyard of a mature lime tree, due to a risk of subsidence damage to an adjoining property, as advised by their retained arboriculturist. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to conditions which included a requirement that at least one replacement tree of a species, and at a location in the churchyard, to be approved by the archdeacon must be planted during the current, or the next, growing season after the felling of the lime tree.

Re St. Michael Wandsworth Common [2023] ECC Swk 2

The Vicar and Churchwardens wished to replace the existing gas boiler and radiators in the church with a ChurchEcoMiser system (involving the installation of 23 new electric radiators). The petition was unopposed, though the Diocesan Advisory Committee thought that an air source heat pump would be a preferred option. The Chancellor did not consider it appropriate to require the petitioners to investigate the option of an air source heat pump. He was satisfied that the petitioners had done enough to justify their proposed choice of heating system and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Werburgh Hoo [2023] ECC Roc 2

The petitioner wished to erect a memorial to her late father. The design of the memorial had a number of features outside the churchyard regulations. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the proposed use of the words “Sunrise” and Sunset”, the proposed tablet at the foot of the grave or the inscription “See you on the other side.” Whilst the priest-in-charge and Parochial Church Council would not normally agree to a “non-standard” memorial, they were prepared to make an exception in the present case as there was a similar family memorial nearby, some three plots away. They also seem to have taken into consideration the fact that the grave is about 90 yards from the church, and at the edge of the churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty approving the memorial, apart from the proposed tablet at the foot of the grave.

Re St. Leonard Hythe [2023] ECC Can 2

The petitioner applied for a restoration order in respect of a portable altar which had been used on the chancel steps at the head of the nave, on the basis that no lawful authority had been granted for such use. Shortly after the application, the newly arrived priest-in-charge approached the archdeacon, seeking a Temporary Minor Reordering Licence, to allow the altar to be used occasionally for a trial period, after which the Parochial Church Council could decide whether it wished to apply for a faculty to make the arrangement permanent. The archdeacon granted a licence. The petitioner claimed that the granting of the licence was an 'abuse' of legal process to defeat his application. The Commissary General disagreed and dismissed the petitioner's application. If the church council applied for a faculty to make the arrangement permanent, the petitioner would then have an opportunity to object.

Re King's College Chapel Cambridge (2) [2023] ECC Ely 2

This judgement is supplemental to the judgment in Re King's College Chapel Cambridge [2023] ECC Ely 1, which concerned an application for permission to place solar panels on the roof of King's College. Having read further submissions, the Chancellor was satisfied that there was a convincing justification for placing solar panels on the north side of the college roof, as well as on the south side.

Re St. Barnabas Morecambe [2023] ECC Bla 3

The petitioners wished to remove from the unlisted church the pipe organ installed by Edward Wadsworth & Brother in about 1913 and replace it with a pipe organ originally built by Henry Willis in 1865 in Weybridge United Reformed Church, which was closed in 2021. There was one objector, who did not become a party opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied from the reports of all the experts consulted that the Wadsworth organ was beyond economic repair.

Re Holy Trinity Headington Quarry [2023] ECC Oxf 4

The parish wished to replace the existing gas boiler with a new, more energy-efficient gas boiler. In 2017, the archdeacon had given notice of approval without faculty under List B1 of the faculty rules. For various reasons (including the Covid lockdowns), the work was delayed. In 2022, the rules had been changed to make it a requirement that there should be an application for a faculty for a replacement boiler using a fossil fuel supply. Since then the parish, for reasons of pastoral necessity, had carried out the replacement, believing that they could rely on the archdeacon's notice in 2017. The question was, had the archdeacon's notice still been valid following the change in the rules? The Chancellor determined that he was not in a position to determine the question but, having sympathy for the parish's "pastoral and pragmatic" action, suggested that the matter should not be pursued any further, whilst providing lessons for the future.

Re Chatham Cemetery [2023] ECC Roc 1

The petitioners were a Romanian couple who had planned to settle in the UK. However, after the death of one of their children, aged 10 months, they decided to return to live in Romania. They applied to have the remains of their baby exhumed and reburied in the parish in Romania where they were planning to live with their family. The Chancellor decided to allow an exception to the normal rule against exhumation, unless in exceptional circumstances, after reading a report of a clinical psychologist stating that, since the death of the child, his mother had returned to Romania and had been suffering from “an anxious depressive state and post-traumatic stress disorder.” Her husband had remained behind in the UK temporarily to seek permission for the exhumation. The Chancellor considered that this was an appropriate case in which to grant a faculty for exhumation.

Re St. John the Baptist Holland Road [2023] ECC Lon 2

The petitioners wished to install external CCTV equipment and new external and internal lighting at the Grade I church. There was one objector, a neighbour, who said there was already sufficient CCTV in the area, that the additional external lighting would increase light pollution, including “antisocial light disturbance”, and would attract undesirable people. The Chancellor was satisfied from the documentation that steps had been taken to minimise light pollution, and he granted a faculty, subject to a condition that the petitioners should negotiate with neighbours and ward councillors about the appropriate time or times at which the lighting was to be switched off.

Re St. John the Evangelist Killingworth [2023] ECC New 2

Several items of reordering were proposed, driven by a desire to provide basic modern facilities in the church, in order to reach out to the wider community and encourage families into the church. These proposals included a proposed extension to the north side of the church, to provide a 'ceremonial' entrance facing the now greater area of population of the village, the extension incorporating toilets and a small library. There were three objectors, of whom one became a party opponent. Their main objections were to the extension. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made out a good case for the proposals and he therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. George the Martyr Preston [2023] ECC Bla 2

Extensive reordering works were proposed. The amenity society consultees objected mainly to the replacement of the two wooden and glazed draft lobbies at the north and south entrances to the church with new structures and the removal of three ranks of pews, in order to provide disabled access and a welcoming area; and also the design of an altar to replace one previously installed without authority. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had shown a sufficient justification for the works and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Wheatley (No. 2) [2023] ECC Oxf 3

This judgment is a sequel to the judgment in Re St. Mary the Virgin Wheatley [2021] ECC Oxf 8, which related to several items of reordering. The Victorian Society was a party opponent and objected to one item, namely, the removal of the Victorian red and black tiling in the nave. The Chancellor had directed that the petitioners should consult advisers about salvaging and reusing as many of the tiles as possible, together with new replicated tiles. Following advice on various options, the petitioners wished not to reuse the Victorian tiles, but to relay the whole nave floor with stone. However, the Chancellor did not consider that the petitioners had made out a sufficiently convincing justification for not reusing the Victorian tiles. He refused to grant a faculty for an all stone floor, but gave permission for the salvaged tiles to be re-laid with reproduction tiles, so as to preserve to a large extent the design of the Victorian tiled area of the nave.

Re An Exhumation for a Forensic Post-mortem Examination [2023] ECC Oxf 2

This is an anonymised judgment. The Thames Valley Police applied for a faculty to authorise the exhumation of the body of a person who had died a few years previously, when the cause of death had been given as 'Old age'. Recent evidence had come to light that the cause of death may not have been natural. The Police therefore wished to carry our forensic tests on the body, to establish whether a crime had been committed. The Coroner had already give permission for the exhumation. The Chancellor determined that special circumstances existed which constituted good and proper reasons for making an exception to the normal rule that Christian burial is final. It was necessary in the interests of justice to establish whether a crime had been committed and, if not, to dispel any suspicions that had arisen. In view of the special circumstances, the Chancellor considered that there should be no public notice of the application and that no special notice should be given to members of the family or others who might be under suspicion.

Re Chevington Cemetery [2023] ECC New 3

Owing to a mistake made by the burial authority, some human remains were interred in a plot reserved for the petitioner next to the plot which contained the remains of her late husband. Whilst the generally acknowledged principle is that human remains, once interred, should not be exhumed except in exceptional circumstances, the Chancellor was satisfied that this was an appropriate case in which a faculty should be granted, to rectify an error in administration.

Re Wandsworth Cemetery [2023] ECC Swk 1

The Chancellor granted a faculty to allow cremated remains to be temporarily removed from a grave, in order to allow a further coffin burial, noting that the principle of exceptionality in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam. 299 "makes clear that the principle of family solidarity is to be encouraged; as is economy in the use of grave space".

Re St. George Unsworth [2023] ECC Man 1

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of her brother exhumed from the grave containing the remains of their parents. The petitioner's sister and the deceased's daughter had arranged the interment without the knowledge of the petitioner. This had caused some consternation in the rest of the family, because the deceased had been estranged from the family and they thought it inappropriate for him to be buried with his parents as he was alleged to have subjected his mother to an act of physical violence. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty, having decided that the petitioner's application did not meet the test of exceptionality envisaged in the case of Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, so as to justify allowing exhumation. Nor did the petitioner's application "amount to a sufficiently good reason by reference to a ‘right thinking’ member of the church at large" (referencing the decision in Re Christ Church Alsager [1998] Chancery Court of York).

Re St. Mary Luton [2023] ECC StA 3

The petition sought permission to replace the pink padded oak chairs in the nave of the Grade I church with Alpha SB2M metal-framed chairs with dark grey upholstery, which would be lighter, provide greater flexibility, be easier to stack and store, and the colour would be more sympathetic to the interior of the church. The Chancellor concluded that the benefits of the new chairs would outweigh any minimal harm to the interior of the church and accordingly granted a faculty.

Re King's College Chapel Cambridge [2023] ECC Ely 1

As part of its policy on climate change, to reduce its carbon footprint, the College wished to place solar panels on both the north and south sides of the Chapel roof. The main arguments of the consultees against the proposal were that the panels would be partially visible through the parapet tracery from a few viewpoints. The Church Building Council also questioned whether panels on the north side of the roof could generate enough energy to justify them. The Chancellor was satisfied that the scheme would benefit the College and would help it towards reaching its net zero target. He determined that he would grant a faculty for solar panels on both sides of the roof, or on the south side only, dependent upon an updated assessment of the potential carbon payback for the north roof and calculations and observations as to the effect on the structure without an identical weight on the north roof, were the eventual decision to allow for solar panels on the south roof only. The assessment should be produced within 28 days and provided to the DAC and other bodies who had been involved in the process, such assessment to be produced within 28 days and then submitted to the consultees for comment within a further 21 days.

Re Chorleywood Road Cemetery [2023] ECC StA 2

The petitioner wished to have the remains of her baby, stillborn in 1987, exhumed from Chorleywood Road Cemetery and reinterred with the remains of the petitioner's husband (who had died from Covid in 2020) in Woodcock Hill Cemetery. The Chancellor determined that there were sufficient exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty. The position of the allotted grave was "inaccessible and lacking in dignity, being tucked into a very small area almost hidden underneath a hedge", and the grave was in a place which made prayer and contemplation difficult, due to noise from an adjacent busy road and from an adjoining property. There had been a mistake in not making the parents aware of the situation before the interment. Coping with this poor location had, over the years, resulted in a serious deterioration in the petitioner's health. And the fact that the remains of the child and its father would be interred together would create a family grave.

Re Heaton Cemetery [2023] ECC New 1

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of his parents exhumed from a double plot in the consecrated section of Heaton Cemetery and reinterred in another plot in the same consecrated area. The petitioner's reason for the application was that the plot was situated under a tree where birds regularly roosted, and the memorial over the plot had been so affected by bird faeces that it had become unsightly, unhygienic and potentially hazardous to the health of those visiting the grave, placing flowers on it or trying to clean the memorial. The Chancellor determined that the circumstances were sufficiently special to make an exception to the norm of permanence of burial. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re Holy Trinity Hull [2023] ECC Yor 1

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.

Re St. Hilda Hunts Cross [2023] ECC Liv 1

The petitioners wished to remove fifteen free-standing pews from the unlisted Victorian church and replace them with timber framed upholstered chairs, in order to provide a felxible space within the nave. The Chancellor granted a faculty. The pews did not appear to have any particular architectural or historical significance, and any harm caused by their removal was easily outweighed by the significant benefit which would be gained in having a modern flexible worship space.

Re Wigton Cemetery [2023] ECC Car 1

The petitioner's late husband was buried in the cemetery in 1961. The petitioner wished to have her husband's coffin exhumed, the grave dug deeper and the coffin reinterred in the grave, so that in due course the Petitioner could be buried with her husband. The Chancellor decided that the deepening of the grave to create a family grave was an appropriate reason for granting a faculty.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Long Crendon [2023] ECC Oxf 1

The petitioner wished to install an upright memorial over the single plot in the churchyard where the cremated remains of both her parents had been interred. The Parochial Church Council ("PCC") objected (inter alia) that the upright memorial would not be in keeping with other ashes plots in the row, where the memorials were laid flush with the ground or desk shaped, and it would set a precedent for others. Nine local residents (all but one of whom were members of the PCC) submitted letters of objection for similar reasons. The Diocesan Advisory Committee recommended the proposal. For several reasons (too many to be listed in this brief summary) the Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary Newchurch-in-Pendle [2023] ECC Bla 1

Several items of reordering were proposed, including new toilet and kitchen facilities, removal of some pews, relocation of the font, construction of a narthex screen, a glazed internal entrance with a pair of frameless glass doors and refurbishment of the porch entrance. Notwithstanding concerns raised by the Georgian Society regarding some of the pews to be removed and the proposed relocation of the font, the Chancellor granted a faculty for all the works, being satisfied that the petitioners had demonstrated a clear justification for the proposed works in terms of the church’s worship, mission, and community outreach.

Re Chapel St. Leonards Lawned Cemetery [2023] ECC Lin 1

A widow reserved a grave space next to the grave of her late husband. Owing to a mistake on the part of the burial authority, the body of another person was buried in the grave reserved for the widow. The family of the person whose body had been buried in the reserved grave agreed to exhumation and reinterment in the next grave, and the burial authority agreed to meet the costs. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re Brookwood Cemetery [2023] ECC Gui 2

Since 2017, human remains had been removed from the burial ground of St. James' Gardens, Euston, to allow for construction of part of the HS2 terminus station. The remains had been reinterred in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey. It was now proposed that a substantial memorial, with associated landscaping, should be constructed next to the interments at Brookwood Cemetery, in memory of all those whose human remains had been moved there from St. James' Gardens, Euston. The Chancellor was satisfied that the design of the memorial, the landscaping and the proposed inscriptions were all appropriate and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary Boxford [2023] ECC SEI 1

The following works of reordering were proposed: disposal of unwanted furniture; installation of an aumbry, with a lamp; and installation of a nave altar. There was one objector (who did not become a party opponent), whose main objection was to the introduction of the aumbry. The Chancellor determined that the objector's arguments on procedural or doctrinal grounds were wrong and he therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Thomas a Becket Salisbury [2023] ECC Sal 1

As the next stage in a programme of reordering, the petitioners wished to remove the old stone font and tall suspended font cover from the south-west corner of the church and place a newly designed timber and copper font at the west end of the central aisle. The proposal was for the old font to go to a Roman Catholic church in West Grinstead without the cover, which was too large to be accommodated at the West Grinstead church, or to otherwise dispose of the font and the cover by sale. The Chancellor determined that the font should be transferred to West Grinstead without the cover, which should be retained in the church of St. Thomas. The Chancellor considered whether she could authorise a new font without a cover, in view of Canon F1, which states that there “shall be provided a decent font with a cover”. She concluded that she could not, and therefore made it a condition of the faculty that a cover should be designed to fit the new font, the design to be agreed by the Diocesan Advisory Committee or approved by the Chancellor.

Re St. Peter Chertsey [2023] ECC Gui 1

Several items of internal reordering were proposed, in order to provide a flexible space for worship and for a variety of uses, both for the church community and wider community. The most significant item of reordering was the proposal to replace the nave pews with chairs. The chair proposed was the Alpha high stacking lightweight upholstered chair. Notwithstanding the advice of the Church Buildings Council that chairs should not be upholstered, the Chancellor granted a faculty for the proposed chairs, as well as for the other items referred to in the petition.

Re Holy Cross Bearsted [2023] ECC Can 1

The petition sought a faculty for the replacement of the remaining fixed pews with chairs (some pews having been replaced with chairs in 2011) and minor making good to the floor. The proposed type of chair was the non-upholstered Jacob lightweight wooden high-stacking chair by Alpha Furniture. Two people objected, but did not become parties opponent. The Commissary General granted a faculty. He was satisfied that the removal of the particular pews would not result in harm to the significance of the church as a place of special architectural or historic interest and that the petitioners had advanced a sufficiently particularised and convincing case.

Re St. Nicholas Leicester [2023] ECC Lei 2

This judgment is supplementary to the preliminary judgment in Re St. Nicholas Leicester [2023] ECC Lei 1, when the Chancellor had to give directions as to which of the nine people who had objected to the petition had a sufficient interest in the subject-matter of the petition. The Chancellor had determined that three of the nine objectors had a sufficient interest. However, subsequent correspondence required the Chancellor to reconsider whether one of the three had a sufficient interest. He determined to give the person concerned a short period in which to provide further information before the Chancellor made a decision.

Re St. Nicholas Leicester [2023] ECC Lei 1

The church had a growing reputation as a safe place for LGBTQIA+ people of faith. The parish priest and an assistant churchwarden petitioned for the introduction of a new altar frontal, the design of which took the form of a Progress Pride image with a white cross upon it. There were nine objections to the petition and sixteen letters and emails in support of it. None of the objectors were 'interested persons' within the meaning of Rule 10.1.(a)-(g) of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015. The Deputy Chancellor therefore had to decide, as a preliminary matter, under Rule 10.1.(h), whether any of the objectors had a sufficient interest in the subject matter of the petition. He determined that three of the objectors had a sufficient interest, namely, a regular attender at the church (who was not on the church electoral roll) and two priests, who raised liturgical and doctrinal issues in their objections. One of the two priests was a priest in the Diocese of Leicester, and the other was a member of the General Synod and of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England.

Re St. Mary Standon [2023] ECC StA 1

The petitioner wished to reserve a singe depth grave space in the churchyard. She was a resident of the parish and on the church electoral roll, and she attended church occasionally. There were an estimated 248 graves available. However, the Parochial Church Council had passed a resolution in 2021 to adopt a policy of not supporting any further grave reservations, except in exceptional circumstances. The Chancellor considered that the reasons given for the policy were reasonable and there were no sufficiently exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty.

Re Hampton Cemetery [2023] ECC Lon 1

The petitioner wished to transfer the mortal remains of his mother from a columbarium niche in a consecrated area of Hampton Cemetery in London to the Isle of Wight, where the petitioner and some other members of the family now lived, for re-interment in a place as yet unidentified, as they felt unable to clean the memorial to the deceased, in view of the distance. The Chancellor found no exceptional reasons which would justify the grant of a faculty.

Re St. Paul Foxdale [2023] EC Sodor 1

The petitioners sought approval for the erection of a memorial to an autistic child who had died in a therapeutic hot tub. The proposed memorial comprised an upright stone, including colours associated with the Autism Society, and kerb stones. The Vicar General granted a faculty: "The grave is surrounded by a number of others in a distinct section of the graveyard at St. Paul’s Foxdale, many of which already have kerbs . . . I accept that there is a compelling reason for authorising the inclusion of colours referring to the Autism Society."

Re St. Peter Wolviston [2023] ECC Dur 1

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for the reservation of a grave space. Although several relatives of the petitioner were buried in the churchyard, the petitioner was not a parishioner and did not have a legal right to be buried in the churchyard. Also, the reservation of a grave would use up a space in an almost full churchyard and prevent the burial of another person, who would otherwise have had a legal right to be buried there.

Re All Saints Elston [2023] ECC S&N 1

Two white alabaster memorials to parishioners who had died serving in the First and Second World Wars had been fixed to the east wall of the church porch. Recent research by a parishioner had suggested that there were spelling mistakes in three of the names recorded. The Parish Council applied for permission to have the alleged mistakes corrected. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Whilst accepting that a letter in the first name might have been incorrect, there was no evidence that an initial in the second name was a mistake or a choice, and there was no basis for considering that the way of spelling the third name inscribed was other than the choice or direction of the relatives: "There is no need to make the suggested alterations, no widespread or well-supported desire to do so, and no known way in which they could be made satisfactorily." Moreover, full details of those commemorated were available in folders in the church.