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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

Re Holy Trinity Hastings [2019] ECC Chi 1

The faculty petition proposed extensive reordering. The church had entered a period of decline in the 1990s and was without an incumbent from 2010-2014, when it came under the leadership of a team from St Peter’s, Brighton, which is part of the Holy Trinity Brompton network. Since then a more modern style of worship had been adopted and the congregation had grown. The only point of contention was the type of chair chosen to replace the pews. The petitioners favoured the Alpha SB2M chair, which is a stackable, metal chair with a chrome finish and an upholstered seat and back. The Victorian Society objected to the proposed and became a party opponent. Originally, they felt that a wooden, unupholstered chair would be more appropriate. However, after further correspondence they accepted that in the particular context of a church which had been revived by modern forms of worship and other events in the church, the Alpha chair would be acceptable. This was also the view of the Deputy Chancellor, who granted a faculty for all the items, subject to two agreed amendments.

Re St. Augustine Kirkby-in-Cleveland [2021] ECC Yor 5

A couple who did not live in the parish and whose only connection with the parish was that their granddaughter had attended the nursery and primary school there, applied to reserve a grave space in the churchyard. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty: "As the applicants have no real connection to this church, and have no right to be buried in the churchyard, and have no wish for a Christian funeral, I am not satisfied that any case is made out for the reservation of a burial plot in this case."

Re St. Bartholomew Tong [2019] ECC Lic 9

The priest in charge and churchwardens wished to introduce oak screening and cupboards at the east end of the north aisle of the church, to provide a storage area for chairs and other items.  There was one letter of objection, the objection being that if the storage area was constructed at the east end of the church, it would preclude the proposed installation in that area of a proposed toilet and kitchen facility. The petitioners' considered response was that the west end was the better option for that. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for the proposal and granted a faculty.

Re St. John the Baptist Bishop Monkton [2021] ECC Lee 7

The petition sought a faculty for the nave pews to be replaced with burgundy-coloured upholstered and metal framed chairs. The Victorian Society argued that the removal of all the pews would have a significant effect on the buildings historic character and also that, if chairs were introduced, they should not be upholstered. The petitioners’ case was that the proposed chair should be approved because there were already 40 chairs of the same design and colour in the church, though there was no evidence of a faculty authorising them. The Chancellor regarded the existing chairs as very unsuitable, and that they should not be augmented by similar ones. He decided to authorise the replacement of the pews with wooden, unupholstered chairs of a design to be approved by him, subject to a condition that the current chairs be removed within two years. If this was not acceptable to the petitioners, then the pews would have to remain.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Dedham [2022] ECC Chd 2

The church's oil-fired heating boiler, installed 35 years previously, had come to the end of its working life and spare parts were no longer available. The churchwardens sought permission to replace the boiler with a new gas boiler. The Diocesan Advisory Committee expressed its disappointment that the church had not opted for a more environmentally friendly heating system. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioners had considered the Church of England's 'Net Zero Roadmap' and the Church Building Council's guidance, and that the petitioners had also considered several alternative options, which had been discounted for various reasons, including costs, aesthetic considerations, and the potential impact of the different proposed solutions on the fabric and special character of the Grade I listed building. The Chancellor made it a condition of the faculty (inter alia) that so far as was practicable, gas supplied under a green tariff was to be used for the new system.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Alvaston [2020] ECC Der 3

There was an application for a faculty in respect of various items of reordering. In 2015, the parish had obtained an archdeacon's licence for temporary reordering, to allow the pews to be moved, to facilitate changes to the heating. The pews were removed and replaced with chairs from another church. The chairs had dark green frames and green upholstery on the seats, and on both sides of the seat backs, and had continued to remain in place. In 2016 a faculty had been granted for new heating, subject to a condition that proposals for any further reordering be put forward. Following the licence, the parish obtained the archdeacon's permission under List B in respect of items of floor boarding and carpeting. Nothing was done within the time limit of the archdeacon's licence or in accordance with the condition in the 2016 faculty until 2019. Notwithstanding the delay and the changes that had been made, and his concern that he could not regard the removal of the pews as a 'minor' matter which could be the subject of a licence, the Chancellor granted a faculty. He determined that the chairs were acceptable and could remain. He also found the carpet acceptable.

Bexhill St. Michael & All Angels [2011] Mark Hill Ch. (Chichester)

This judgment relates to five churches: St Michael and All Angels, Bexhill; All Saints, Danehill; St Matthew, St Leonards-on-Sea; St Mary, Balcombe;  and St John the Evangelist, Upper St Leonard. Each church had suffered lead theft. Four churches applied for faculties, and one for dispensation from faculty, to replace the roofing. The proposed replacement roofing in each case was Decothene (liquid plastic) or GRP. The Chancellor granted faculties and the requested dispensation from faculty.

Dodsbo v Sweden [2006] ECtHR Application No 61564/00

The issue was as to whether refusal to grant an application to exhume and move a dead body would breach the applicant's human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The court decided that, although the refusal to exhume may interfere with the applicant's human rights, such an interference could be valid under the terms of the ECHR

In the Matter of Cyril Jones (Deceased) [2016] ECC Liv 4

Cyril Jones was buried in the churchyard of St. Margaret Orford in 1990. His widow, Esther, who died in 2015, was buried in Fox Covert Cemetery. Mrs. Jones, during her lifetime, realised that there would be no room for her to be buried with her husband, and she had expressed a strong wish to her family that she should be buried in the cemetery and that the family should arrange for her husband's remains to be moved and buried with her. The Chancellor granted a faculty for exhumation on the basis that "Mrs. Jones widow made a mistake in interring her late husband's remains in a full garden, a mistake which she regretted almost from the outset; secondly, that Mrs Jones delayed seeking exhumation on the grounds of her own personal belief that she felt that such would be inappropriate in her lifetime; and thirdly, there is now a desire to create a family grave."

In the matter of David Bell deceased [2016] ECC She 3

This was an interim judgment relating to a petition whereby the petitioner sought authority to have the remains of her father, who died in 1976, exhumed and cremated, and then interred with the cremated remains of her mother, who died in 2016. It was proposed that the remains of the petitioner's parents should be taken and buried in a cemetery in Scotland