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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 St. Peter & St. Paul Coleshill [2015] Mark Powell Ch. (Birmingham)

Faculty granted for a major re-ordering project.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Coleshill [2020] ECC Bir 1

The reordering works approved by a faculty granted in 2015 had not been completed within the time allowed. A new petition was presented, requesting authority to carry out the remaining items of work. Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings had concerns about certain aspects of the proposals (including the pews, the heating system, raising the floors, carpeting, the screens and the glazing). However, the Chancellor was satisfied that a case had been made for the proposals and granted a faculty.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Farningham [2019] ECC Roc 3

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial to her son, who had been murdered. The memorial proposed comprised an upright stone five feet tall and bearing an open book motif. The stone was to be set on a foundation and plinth measuring seven feet by three feet by four inches. The Chancellor decided that in the circumstances of this particular case the upright memorial would be acceptable, but not the large plinth. The Chancellor therefore granted a faculty for the upright stone only, including a condition that the petitioner should remove a covered bench which she had placed without permission near the grave.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Great Somerford [2018] ECC Bri 2

Reordering proposals included: tiling; redecoration; creation of a coffee area by removing five pews; modification to the font; removal of choir stalls; accessible lavatory; a galley kitchen; removal of further pews to create a new vestry; some new stackable, upholstered chairs; and renewal of the heating and electrical systems. The small aging congregation of the church wished to increase the flexibility of use of the church and thus increase the numbers of those who attend church. The Chancellor was satisfied that the proposals, if implemented, would result in little if any significant harm to the church as a building of special architectural or historical interest, and accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Hambledon [2022] ECC Por 1

There was a disagreement between siblings as to the inscription to be included on the memorial for the grave of their parents, who had died within a short time of each other. Two of them wished to have the words 'IN GOD'S KEEPING', followed by dates, then  'FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS'. The third sibling wished the words ‘Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love’ to be added. The first two siblings did not consider the words appropriate and so one of them applied for a faculty to authorise only the words that they had chosen. The Chancellor considered that the additional words expressed immediate personal grief which it was not appropriate to include on a permanent memorial and they might "detract from the messages of love and care which the inscription would otherwise convey". He therefore granted a faculty for the memorial with the wording propsed by the petitioner.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Heydon [2017] ECC Nor 2

The Team Vicar and the church fabric officer petitioned for a faculty to authorise the installation of wireless broadband equipment in the tower of the church, situated in a remote and beautiful village where broadband speeds were extremely poor. The PCC approved the proposals by 7 votes for and 2 against, the two dissenters being the two churchwardens, who became parties opponent. The Chancellor determined to grant a faculty. The physical and aesthetic impacts on the church would be minimal, and the advantages of the installation would be of great benefit to the rural community.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Hoxne [2022] ECC SEI 1

The church wished to repair and reassemble a screen which was formerly under the tower arch before the organ was moved there. They then wished to repair the Lady Chapel steps, shorten two pews, reassemble the screen at the bottom of the steps and dedicate the chapel to St. Edmund. The Archdeacon gave List B consent for the restoration of the screen and the repair of the steps only. She did not allow for the re-erection of the screen or alteration of the pews.  When an application was made for a faculty for the works in the chapel, a parishioner objected on the grounds of insufficient local consultation and wished to be a party to the proceedings. The faculty was put on hold pending discussions with the objector, but the parish installed the screen anyway. They then applied for permission for the screen and shortened pews to remain. The objector withdrew her objection, as she felt 'vilified' by the petitioners. The Chancellor granted a faculty, ordering the petitioners to pay the costs of the Registry and any costs incurred by the objector.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Muchelney [2019] ECC B&W 2

There was no suitable place within the church to construct a toilet, which would provide disabled access. It was therefore proposed to construct a free-standing disabled toilet adjacent to the east side of the north porch of the church, with associated water, drainage and electrical connections. There were letters of objection from five parishioners. The main objection related to the location of the proposed structure. The Chancellor was satisfied that the provision of a disabled toilet was appropriate and that the location to the east of the north porch would be the least problematic within the site. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Newport Pagnell [2020] ECC Oxf 8

The petitioners wished to install in the church a custom-built electronic organ and twelve speaker cabinets and to 'mothball' the existing pipe organ. There were four objectors, two of whom became parties opponent, but subsequently withdrew. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject (inter alia) to a condition that the parish should maintain, insure and use its best endeavours to keep the pipe organ playable for as long as the electronic organ remains in the church. The judgment cites numerous other judgments relating to the replacement of a pipe organ with an electronic organ, and discusses the factors which should and should not be taken into account in reaching a decision.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Nutfield [2018] ECC Swk 1

The petitioner wished to place a memorial tablet of Welsh Slate, measuring 8 inches by 11 inches by 2 inches in the churchyard, next to a tree which her father had planted after the Great Storm of 1987. She wished the inscription to bear the names of her mother and Welsh father, with dates of birth and death and the Welsh word 'Tangnefedd', an old Welsh word meaning 'Peace'. Her father's ashes had been buried close to the tree, but the body of her mother, who did not wish to be cremated, had been buried in a nearby woodland cemetery, with no memorial. Owing to the father's connection with Wales, the Deputy Chancellor approved the use of the Welsh word in the inscription. And as regards the mother's body not being buried in the churchyard, the Deputy Chancellor approved the inscription bearing the mother's name, provided that the words 'Margaret buried in Nutfield Cemetery. Gadfan interred at this spot.' were added to the edge of the stone.