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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 24 November 2021

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site, as at 24 November 2021

Reordering

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The faculty petition proposed a major reordering of a Grade II* listed church, the details of which are too numerous to include in this brief note, but included the replacement of the vestry with a four storey extension to the church, to provide meeting rooms and offices; the removal of the pews and replacement with Howe 40/4 chairs; the carpeting of the whole floor; and the creation of a kitchen. The amenity societies involved objected to several of the proposals. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the majority of the items. One of the items he declined to approve was the carpeting of the nave.

The proposal was to remove the last three remaining rows of 20th century pews from the nave of the Grade I church, to 'facilitate flexible use of the nave for worship and missional events'. The Chancellor was satisfied that the benefits of removal far outweighed any disadvantages and he accordingly granted a faculty.

The petitioners wished to replace the church's wooden chairs, upholstered in red and with many showing their age, with tubular metal chairs upholstered in 'graphite' grey. The wooden chairs could only be stacked five high when space was required for an event, whereas the metal chairs could be stacked 25 high and moved around on a trolley. The metal chairs were also lighter and therefore easier to move and stack. There were two letters of objection, the main objection being the aesthetic appearance of metal chairs. Another objection was that, unlike the wooden chairs, the metal ones would not have a shelf under the seat for Bibles and hymn books. The Chancellor granted a faculty. He considered that, whilst the proposed grey colour was more sombre than the existing red upholstered chairs, this would be offset by the brightness of the white walls of the church's interior and the light carpeting.

The proposal was to introduce two new glass screens, between the eastern end of the nave and the south transept and between the south transept and the lady chapel. The result will be to enable the south transept to be used as a separate room. The Chancellor granted a faculty. He was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case and that there was "no evidence that this proposal would harm the character of this listed church – as opposed to merely changing it."

In 2009, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Lichfield refused to grant a faculty for the introduction a raised area at the east end of the nave and the moving of four pews from the south aisle to the north aisle to allow space for a ramp to the raised area. The appeal was allowed.

The proposals were for extensive reordering of the Grade II church and the building of an extension in the churchyard to accommodate toilets, a kitchen, a store room, a meeting room and refurbished choir vestry and vicar's vestry and toilet. The extension would be built over one known grave of a married couple, who died in 1975 and 1980 respectively. The Chancellor was satisfied that, because the church extension would be built on piles, the grave would not be disturbed. He was also satisfied that the petitiners had discharged the burden of proving that (quoting Lord Penzance in Peek v Trower [1881]) "the church will be more convenient, more fit for the accommodation of the parishioners who worship there, more suitable, more appropriate, or more adequate to its purpose than it was before".

The priest-in-charge and churchwardens wished to carry out the following works: the disposal of 16 benches; the introduction of Alpha SB2M upholstered chairs; the installation of a screen and projector at the front of the church; the provision of a live link with the crèche; the installation of three metal gates outside to create a safer space for children; and the provision of a key safe. The Chancellor granted a facuty. The petitioners had produced a comprehensive Statement of Need to support the mission and growth of the church. However, the Chancellor did not consider that the peitioners had made a good case for upholstered chairs and the faculty was therefore subject to a condition that the chairs should not be upholstered.

The proposals were for a major reordering, for most of which there were no objections. Amongst the amenity societies consulted, only the Victorian Society became a party opponent, objecting principally to the proposed removal from the nave of "one of the most magnificent and extensive suites of Victorian church seating in the country". In weighing the benefits which the proposals would bring against any loss to the historical and architectural importance of the church, the Chancellor had to consider the evidence of the petitioners as to the financial viability of the church if the works were not carried out. On balance he determined in favour of the petitioners and granted a faculty.

The priest-in-charge and churchwardens petitioned for the introduction of a set of altar frontals in liturgical colours for the main altar. The objects of their proposal were: "firstly to introduce the colours of the church’s liturgical year more prominently into the building and secondly to add colour to what is otherwise a relatively drab space apart from the windows." Two letters of objection were received. One objector questioned the appropriateness of such adornment, when funds might be better spent on outreach. The other objector considered it wrong to cover up the beautifully carved Victorian altar table. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioners had put forward a good argument for their proposal and that the objections did not amount to a good reason as to why the change should not be permitted.

Faculty granted for £1m re-ordering program of works, including removal of pews, creation of vestry and office in chapel, heating, lighting, drainage and other internal works.