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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



Faculty granted for major re-ordering of a Grade 1 listed church. Principles laid down in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2012] (Court of Arches) considered.

The proposals included: the replacement of the church pews with chairs; alteration of the dais in the chancel; the baptistry; new heating, lighting and and audio-visual system; redecoration; the building of an extension for offices; and a garden area. English Heritage, the Victorian Society and the Church Buildings Council all had concerns Chancellor determined that the extension was acceptable, and that the pews were of little merit and could be replaced. As regards the font, the Chancellor was satisfied that the batistry was effectively redundant and that the case for moving the font was made. He therefore granted a faculty. The judgment contains an extensive review of the law and practice relating to fonts.

A judgment dealing with a matter outstanding from Re Holy Trinity Wandsworth [2012], namely, the repositioning of the font and the baptistry screen. Re Duffield discussed. Faculty granted.

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.

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

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

A faculty was sought for the following in the unlisted church which was built in 1969-1970: replacement of the existing twenty pews with one hundred and twenty Alpha SB2M chairs and four stacking trollies; a data projector to the front archway; an overhead retractable screen to the wall above the reredos; a lighting bar and stage lights to the front archway; replacement of the existing sound desk housing with a larger housing to accommodate additional equipment. Two parishioners wrote a letter of objection, but did not become parties opponent. They claimed that there had been insufficient consultation in the parish and that the audio-visual equipment had already been installed. The Chancellor was satisfied that there had been adequate consultation and that the petitioners had made out a good case for the works. As for part of the works being completed already, the Chancellor accepted the explanation and apology given by the petitioners. A faculty was granted in respect of all the works.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for reordering within a 19th century proprietary chapel, which has only relatively recently become subject to faculty jurisdiction. The chapel was built to cater for the bargees and seamen who worked in or visited the dockland area of Gloucester. The works included a glass outer door; removal of pews; new lighting and heating; a kitchen unit/servery; a disabled toilet; and monitors and a sound system. Certain items were not approved.

By 2015 the condition and use of the early 20th century church had declined to such an extent that the building was temporarily closed for health and safety reasons and the congregation dispersed to other churches. In 2017 a new congregation was formed and worshipped in the church hall, but before long it became apparent that more space was needed. Steps were taken under various faculties to revive the church and make it safe for worship. The current petition sought authority for the removal of a number of items of furnishing, as a precursor to reordering in a way that would meet the needs of the new congregation. The Chancellor agreed to the removal of the majority of items in the petition (including the high altar and the font), but he excluded the removal of the lectern, the Communion rails and the pulpit (with the associated memorial plaque).

The Deputy Chancellor granted a confirmatory faculty for the removal and disposal of seven pews, which were removed without faculty in 2011 in order to provide a children’s area, a display, a welcome area and the extension of the dais, but he required that the pew frontals removed at the same time were returned to the church.