Judgment Search


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

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

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



The petition proposed an extensive reordering of the church, to facilitate greater use for the community, including: new kitchen and toilets; a disabled access ramp; a second fire exit; replacing pews with chairs; disposal of the pulpit; moving the font; new heating and lighting; and works to the western gallery. The Chancellor declined to grant a faculty for the removal of the pulpit, on the basis that disposing of the pulpit would constitute serious harm to the interior of the church, but the public benefit, if any, would be small. He also declined to grant a faculty for new lighting in the absence of detailed plans and designs. But he granted a faculty for all the other items, and included a condition (inter alia) that the replacement chairs, to be subject to approval by the Diocesan Advisory Committee, should not be upholstered.

The Associate Rector and Churchwardens petitioned for the removal of the nave and aisle pews. The church has no associated church hall and was seeking to adapt its building for use for both community and church-based activities. Objections were received from two private individuals, and concerns were expressed by the Victorian Society, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Local Planning authority, all of whom suggested alternative proposals involving the retention of some pews. The Deputy Chancellor made it clear that it was not for the objectors to put forward alternative proposals, but for the Chancellor to decide whether a convincing case had been made out for the actual proposals in the petition. Faculty granted.

The petition sought approval for major re-ordering, including the replacement of the pews with chairs. Faculty granted. Applying the principles laid down in Re St. Alkmund, Duffield [2013] Fam 158, the Chancellor was satisfied that there was clear and convincing justification for carrying out the proposals.

The petitioners wished to construct a timber-framed, self-contained chapel, in the north aisle of the church, which could be heated economically, the replacement of the failed Victorian heating system being too costly. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the benefits would outweigh the harm to the special architectural and historic interest of the Grade I listed church. Also, the structure would not alter the fabric into which it was inserted and could be easily removed in the future.

The petitioners wished to remove and dispose of a ‘redundant altar table’ of varnished pine and said to be 'of no historic significance' and 'of no particular aesthetic or other value', in order to improve the east end of the north aisle of the church, which was used as a social area, and to introduce a table and cupboards, for the serving of refreshments, and a more practical floor covering. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The petitioners wished to remove seven rows of pews in the north aisle of the church and replace them with some existing upholstered chairs in storage, in order to allow a more flexible use of the space. The Victorian Society objected that the upholstered chairs were not suitable for the Grade I listed church. The Chancellor concluded that the introduction of the chairs would cause only moderate harm to the church, and that this harm would be outweighed by the resulting public benefit. He accordingly granted a faculty.

The Vicar and Churchwardens requested a faculty for the disposal of a tenor bell dated 1600, which became redundant when a new set of six bells was installed in 2009. The proposal was that the bell should be sold to a local arts charity, which had used the bell with the permission of the Chancellor as a centrepiece for an arts festival in Folkestone, and that conditions should be imposed onteh sale that if no longer required by the arts charity, the bell should not be scrapped or exported, but should be offered to a museum, and in default of a museum being willing to take it, the bell should be given to Taylor's bell foundry in Loughborough. The Chancellor considered that such conditions imposed on a sale would be unenforceable, and suggested that the petitioner's consider applying for a faculty to simply lend the bell to the Folkestone arts charity.

The Chancellor authorised the removal of a block of pews from the north-west corner on the Grade II* Victorian church, in order to allow the installation of a disabled toilet and a servery.

The was a petition for reordering, including the replacement of pews with chairs and benches and the laying of new York Stone flooring. The Chancellor gave  directions that (inter alia) the petitioners should make further representations in writing before a final decision by the Chancellor.

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.