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

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site.

Reordering

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The proposal was to replace the main block of nave pews with chairs. The petitioners wished to create a more flexible space for church and community use. The pews were part of a refurbishment by the architect George Gilbert Scott in the mid-nineteenth century.  The Victorian Society and Historic England submitted written objections to removal of the pews. Bearing in mind that access to "The Hub" (which was installed under faculty in 2004, to provide a servery, a lavatory, a vestry and a meeting room in the north-west corner of the church) was difficult, and moving The Hub was not viable, the Chancellor considered that the removal of the pews appeared to be a realistic way of freeing up space, in order to promote worship and mission; and the harm to the church by the loss of the pews would be outweighed by the benefits. He accordingly granted a faculty.

The petition proposed the demolition of an unlisted Victorian church building and its replacement with a multi-purpose church centre and hall. The original brick church was completed in 1878 and enlarged with a sandstone chancel and vestries added and completed in 1897. The Chancellor determined that the future of the church's mission and its congregation would best be served by a new building, rather than by adapting and maintaining a building which would involve high maintenance costs in the future, if retained. Accordingly, a faculty was granted.

Faculty granted for the installation of an electronic organ to replace a pipe organ in an unlisted 1930s church.

The church of St Richard, Crowborough, within the parish of All Saints Crowborough, dates from 1956 and is unlisted. It is a utilitarian building serving as both a chapel and a community hall. The petitioners sought a faculty to carry out the following work, in order to make the church more suitable for furthering mission to the local community, particularly to young children: removal of timber stage to create more storage space; replacement of exterior sign and notice board; replacement of chairs; fitting of new suspended ceiling; replacement of windows with UPVC double glazed units. Two people gave notice of objection, but did not wish to be parties to the proceedings. In granting the faculty, the Chancellor said: "I am satisfied that the works proposed to this unremarkable and utilitarian building are unobjectionable. The petitioners have discharged the burden of demonstrating that the proposals, including the removal of the stage, are desirable, if the effective ministry of this small but vibrant church community is to realise its potential."

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

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the demolition of some unsightly temporary structures at the east end of the unlisted church and their replacement with permanent brick built structures to accommodate a commercial kitchen, a crèche, lavatories and a food bank.

The Commissary General granted a faculty to replace the existing cupboard, worktop, sink, tap and water heater in the Vestry.

The vicar and churchwardens sought a faculty to reorder the west end of the church by extending the west gallery to the north and west aisles, to introduce an accessible WC below the north-west corner of the extended gallery and enhance the existing catering facilities and musicians’ area. They also proposed introducing speakers into the chancel and the making good of tiles in the floor at the front of the church. The Victorian Society was a party opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that "any prejudice to the architectural integrity is outweighed by the pastoral and liturgical benefits and applying the balance of probabilities the Petitioners have made out their case." He accordingly granted a faculty.

The petition contained a number of items including proposals for lighting inside and outside the church. A parishioner objected to the proposed lighting of the spire on the ground that it would cause a lot of light pollution. The petitioners responded that they had taken their architect's advice and also that of a specialist lighting consultant and as a result they are looking to use modern LED type lights which minimise light pollution by focusing the light to specific areas and thereby minimising spill and light pollution. The Chancellor was also aware of a recent visit by an officer of the planning department, who had recommended the fixing of the external light sources on the stonework, rather than on poles, and had not raised any concerns about light pollution. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made their case and granted a faculty.

In 2005 pews had been removed from the side aisles of the church and had been replaced with chairs upholstered with a blue fabric. Also, carpet tiles in two contrasting blue colours had been laid in a chequer-board pattern in the aisles. The petitioners now wished to lay similar carpet tiles and introduce more upholstered chairs into the nave, to create 'a more flexibe space'. (There was also a proposal to update the heating.) The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the pews and further carpet tiles, but was not a party opponent. In spite of slight reservations about the blue colour of the carpet tiles, the Chancellor concluded that the scheme would "give a more unified appearance and will serve the aims that the petitioners seek to achieve." He accordingly granted a faculty.