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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. Thomas & St. Luke Dudley [2021] ECC Wor 2

The proposed works comprised the installation of a new heating system; the installation of an additional toilet; and the reconfiguring of part of the building used as the ‘Youth Room’. (The church is a "resourcing church",  with special funding from the Church Commissioners’ Strategic Development Fund for the purpose of growing the congregation to around 250 people and generating energy and resources for further church-planting elsewhere in the diocese.) Bearing in mind the Church of England's commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030, the Chancellor was concerned about the proposal to install a new gas-fired heating system. However, an expert report indicated that the proposed new system should reduce overall gas usage by 35%. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to a condition that gas supplied under a green tariff should be used where possible.

Re St. Thomas a Becket Lovington [2020] ECC B&W 1

The subject-matter of the petition was a piece of unconsecrated churchyard between the original churchyard and an adjacent lane. The proposal was to grant a 999 year lease of a strip of the unconsecrated land to the neighbour whose house lay at the end of the lane, which was of tapering width, in order to give the lane uniform width, to allow better access for cars and larger vehicles. There were objections from members of the family who owned the land on the opposite side of the lane. The Chancellor determined that the terms of the proposed lease would benefit both the neighbour and the church, and he granted a faculty. The judgment contains a discussion of the court's jurisdiction to permit the disposal of unconsecrated churchyard land.

Re St. Thomas a Beckett Salisbury [2023] ECC Sal 1

As the next stage in a programme of reordering, the petitioners wished to remove the old stone font and tall suspended font cover from the south-west corner of the church and place a newly designed timber and copper font at the west end of the central aisle. The proposal was for the old font to go to a Roman Catholic church in West Grinstead without the cover, which was too large to be accommodated at the West Grinstead church, or to otherwise dispose of the font and the cover by sale. The Chancellor determined that the font should be transferred to West Grinstead without the cover, which should be retained in the church of St. Thomas. The Chancellor considered whether she could authorise a new font without a cover, in view of Canon F1, which states that there “shall be provided a decent font with a cover”. She concluded that she could not, and therefore made it a condition of the faculty that a cover should be designed to fit the new font, the design to be agreed by the Diocesan Advisory Committee or approved by the Chancellor.

Re St. Thomas Ashton-in-Makerfield [2020] ECC Liv 1

Proposals for reordering included: replacement flooring;  replacement heating scheme and underfloor heating; replacement of nave pews with chairs; removal of the side chapel platform and communion rail; construction of a dais or platform with a removable communion rail; removal of the pulpit and the choir stalls;  provision of a ramped access to the chancel and the vestry; replacement of the audio-visual installation. There were several objections, principally to the removal of the pulpit and choir stalls in the chancel. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners have provided compelling evidence of need to justify the grant of a faculty for the major reordering.

Re St. Thomas Charlton [2017] ECC Win 2

Re St. Thomas Charlton [2017] ECC Win 2 The petitioners wished to install an audio visual system in the body of the unlisted church, with a motorised screen located behind the chancel arch, a projector mounted on a roof cross beam and cabling to the rear of the church to a control location. There were two written objections on the grounds that (a) the equipment would be intrusive, and (b) the PCC could not afford the cost of the works. The Chancellor considered that the benefit of improved communication technology being introduced outweighed the general presumption that change should not be permitted. He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Thomas Kilnhurst [2023] ECC She 1

The petitioner wished to reserve a grave space next to the grave of her son, who had died in an accident aged 28 in 2022, so that the remains of members of the family who could not be buried in her son's grave could be buried in the grave next to his. The Parochial Church Council voted not to support the grave reservation. Whilst understanding the petitioner's desire to reserve a grave next to her son's, the Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for a number of reasons as set out in the judgment, including that the petitioner's son's grave (which was triple-depth) had further capacity for burials and interments of ashes; other family members were buried in various parts of the churchyard 9and here was capacity for further interments in some of them); the churchyard had capacity for burials for many years to come; and the reservation would set a precedent which would hamper the fair management of the churchyard.

Re St. Thomas of Canterbury Tangley [2020] ECC Win 3

The petitioners wished to carry out some reordering works inside and outside the church, so that the church could be used for retreats and quiet days. The main item at issue was a proposed platform to be erected in a piece of woodland at the end of the churchyard. (The woodland had formerly been glebe, but had been added to the churchyard some years previously.) The petitioners proposed to use the platform as a base for a temporary structure, such as a tent or a gazebo, whilst conducting retreats. The Chancellor refused to allow the platform, but granted a faculty for all the other items in the petition.

Re St. Thomas Sutton-in-Craven [2015] Mark Hill Ch. (Leeds)

The petitioners sought to replace certain pews with upholstered chairs in a Grade II listed church. Applying the tests in Re St. Alkmund Duffield, the Chancellor determined that there was clear and convincing justification for carrying out the proposals and that any harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest would be minor. Faculty granted.

Re St. Thomas the Apostle Killinghall [2023] ECC Lee 4

The main issue was a proposal to sell two paintings which had been stored in the church for some years. The Church Buildings Council advised against sale of the two paintings, which were nineteenth century and of religious subjects, on the grounds of their connection with the church and their religious subject-matter. A professional valuation had put a value of £125-£150 on each painting. The Chancellor determined to grant a faculty for the sale. The paintings had been stored several years and were deteriorating and were unlikely to be displayed again, the connection with the church was tenuous and the paintings were of very modest value.

Re St. Thomas the Martyr Newcastle upon Tyne [2021] ECC New 1

A major reordering was proposed in order to accommodate a huge increase in use of the church following its designation as new Resource Church. The proposed works included replacement of pews with chairs, creation of meeting rooms in the galleries, facilities for hospitality, and a baptistry for full immersion. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the works were necessary to meet the church's needs and support its mission, and that  the needs outweighed the consequential loss of special architectural and/or historic interest that would necessarily follow.