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

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The works proposed by the petitioners included the removal of pews from the north and south aisles and the augmentation of toilet and kitchen facilities within the church. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of pews. Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2013] considered. Faculty granted.

There had originally been a proposal to sell the organ located in the church tower, and to use the space presently occupied by the organ to provide for kitchen and toilet facilities. The organ had not been used for many years, but had been installed shortly after the church had been built in the 19th century. However, the current petition was limited to the sale and removal of the organ. The Chancellor was satisfied in principal that the removal of the organ and installation of the kitchen and toilet facilities would benefit the church and the community, and he granted a faculty for the sale of the organ, provided that the sale would take place within two years, and provided also that the organ should remain as it is until the petitioners have permission from the Court to install the proposed kitchen and toilet facilities.

The petitioners applied for an amendment to a Faculty regarding the introduction of upholstered metal chairs to replace 7 pews that were removed under Faculty.  The Chancellor was persuaded that the chairs petitioned for would be appropriate in the particular circumstances of this case.

The petitioners sought a faculty to allow a temporary reordering, authorised by the Archdeacon, to remain permanently. This included a children's area at the west end of the church, the removal of a large painting from the west wall, the permanent removal of six pews, and an information 'Hub'. There were four objectors, of whom one became a party opponent. The Chancellor concluded that the impact of the proposed changes on the appearance of the church would be modest, and that the proposals for providing information about the church to a growing population were appropriate. He accordingly granted a faculty.

The proposals were to re-order the west end of the church, including (1) replacement of the outer west doors;  (2) relocation of the inner west screen doors to the bay of an arch between the chancel and the Lady Chapel; (3) creation of an entrance foyer at the west end with inner and outer screens and mezzanine floor above; and  (4) relocation of the font and its cover from the west end to the north aisle. Faculty granted, subject to the base of the font (designed by G.E. Street, architect of the Royal Courts of Justice) being retained, rather than replaced with a larger base, as proposed in the petition.

The faculty proposed changes to the heating sytem, removal of the side aisle pews and introduction of upholstered chairs to match the chairs in the centre of the nave, which had been authorised in 2015 to replace the nave pews. The Victorian Society objected to more upholstered seating. The Chancellor concluded that, "It would not be reasonable to deny the petitioners more of the same sort of chair", and granted a faculty.

In 2016 the Archdeacon discovered that a toilet, within a roofless cubicle, had been installed without the grant of a faculty in the church vestry and that the arrangements for the drainage of sewage from the toilet had involved excavation into the ancient churchyard. It was later discovered that a kitchen sink unit and a wall mounted electric water heater had been installed without faculty inside a cupboard at the base of the church tower. All of the works were said to be of poor quality. The Archdeacon, the Secretary of the Diocesan Advisory Committee ("DAC") and the Diocesan Registrar endeavoured to get the District Church Council ("DCC") to carry out restoration works. Eventually a faculty petition was filed for the restoration works. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the church to be restored to its former condition and directed that the DCC should pay the Registry costs and the costs of the DAC employing counsel to advise in the matter.

The works described in the petition were: 'Provision of a new café in the west end of the church including new freestanding café servery and food prep kitchen; integrated chair store; new services for the above (water, power, drainage); new glazed door to south porch; new loose café furniture and welcome desk.' The Victorian Society had reservations about the proposed chair storage, and suggested that the open servery could be replaced by one capable of being closed. The Chancellor, however, was satisfied with the two proposals. The Victorian Society also suggested that the choice of chair for the café area could be linked with a more holistic reordering of the seating in the church. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to conditions, including a condition that within five years the parish should put forward proposals for replacing the existing folding chairs in the body of the church.

The petition contained two proposals. The first was for the installation of an 'Eco Loo', for which the Chancellor granted a faculty. But he declined to grant a faculty for the removal of a number of pews from the Grade II* church, in order to create an area for functions other than services. The amenity societies objected to the removal of the pews and the Chancellor was of the opinion that no adequate justification for the proposals had been made.

The Faculty petition proposed a major reordering of a Grade II* church. The Victorian Society was a party opponent. The Chancellor approved the proposals generally, concluding that the benefits would outweigh any harm to the church. However, he was not prepared to approve the proposed red upholstered chairs. He therefore gave a stay of proceedings for 28 days, to allow for the petitioners to consider the judgment and put forward an alternative proposal for the chairs, which the Chancellor might find acceptable.