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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 the Martyr Newcastle upon Tyne [2023] ECC New 6

A faculty had been granted in 2021 ([2021] ECC New 1) for a major reordering to meet the church's needs and support its mission following its designation as a Resource Church. The present petition proposed the restoration of the Harrison & Harrison organ (which was no longer in a playable condition) in two phases over a period of ten years. One person objected on grounds of cost, but did not wish to become a party to the proceedings. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the first phase of the work to be completed within five years, with leave for the petitioner to apply in five years' time for an extension of the faculty to authorise the second phase.

Re St. Thomas the Martyr Up Holland [2019] ECC Liv 4

The church, which is listed Grade I, dates back to the 14th century, but the current layout is Victorian. The proposals included removal of the screens on either side of the chancel steps and their relocation on the east wall of the church, adjacent to the high altar and slightly behind the riddle posts, as well as some alterations to the choir stalls. The Chancellor was satisfied that the benefits of the proposals - allowing the congregation to engage more with the Eucharist, due to improved sight lines, and greater flexibility of use for the reordered space - would outweigh what he considered to be a low degree of harm to the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest, and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Thomas Trowbridge [2018] ECC Sal 1

The petition proposed a substantial reordering, to include: replacement of the remaining pews and some green upholstered chairs with metal framed chairs upholstered in neutral-coloured fabric; the lowering of the timber pew platforms to create a level floor in the nave; the removal of some of the chancel furniture; new lighting and audio-visual equipment; and various repairs. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the majority of the items, but was not prepared for the lectern and reader's desk to be removed, being part of the church's set of liturgical furniture. He also required that once the worn carpet on the chancel step had been removed, the step should remain uncovered.

Re St. Thomas Werneth [2017] ECC Man 1

Proposed reordering works included re-ordering the replacement of the current heating system, the replacement of the pews with chairs, the installation of new flooring, the installation of a new kitchen and disabled toilet facilities, the improvement of access for those in wheelchairs and the converting of the warden`s pews at the back of the nave into cupboards. The purpose of the re-ordering of the Church was to open up the Church for community use, as part of its outreach to the mainly Muslim community in the parish. The Chancellor was satisfied that the reordering would be a major public benefit outweighing any harm resulting from it.

Re St. Thomas Worting [2018] ECC Win 4

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for exhumation. The petitioner wished to exhume the recently interred cremated remains of her husband from the churchyard and reinter them in her garden. The petitioner said that she had had differences with the vicar and for that reason she found it painful and distressing to visit her husband's grave. The Chancellor did not regard these circumstances sufficiently exceptional to justify the grant of a faculty.

Re St. Vedast Tathwell [2018] ECC Lin 4

The executor of a widow wished to carry out the late widow's wishes by erecting on her grave a memorial similar to that on the grave of the widow's husband in the adjacent grave. The husband's memorial stone was a polished dark grey granite stone with an asymmetrical pointed top, with a carving of a church window on it and with gold lettering. Notwithstanding that the diocesan churchyards regulations did not permit a parish priest to allow a polished stone with gold lettering, the Chancellor, in the special circumstances of this case, allowed a matching memorial.

Re St. Werburgh Chorlton-cum-Hardy [2022] ECC Man 1

Until recent years the unlisted church had been in decline. In 2021 the Diocese had designated the church as a Resource Church, with a view to developing outreach and growth, with the help of funding from the Church Commissioners. Over the past two years there had been an increase in the worshipping congregation. The church now wished to carry out major reordering, in order to make the church more welcoming and more suited to contemporary worship, which would include the reuse of the chancel as an entrance and welcome area, an altar at the west end and the pews being replaced with upholstered, stackable chairs. There was one local letter of objection. The Chancellor was satisfied that the changes were necessary and granted a faculty.

Re St. Werburgh Hoo [2017] ECC Roc 7

The incumbent and churchwardens applied for a faculty to approve a local variation of the Churchyard Regulations. The Chancellor was satisfied that it was appropriate to approve a local set of regulations on aesthetic and practical grounds and to enable better management of the churchyard. It would be a condition of the faculty that families would be required to sign a notice confirming that they would comply with the regulations.

Re St. Werburgh Hoo [2023] ECC Roc 2

The petitioner wished to erect a memorial to her late father. The design of the memorial had a number of features outside the churchyard regulations. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the proposed use of the words “Sunrise” and Sunset”, the proposed tablet at the foot of the grave or the inscription “See you on the other side.” Whilst the priest-in-charge and Parochial Church Council would not normally agree to a “non-standard” memorial, they were prepared to make an exception in the present case as there was a similar family memorial nearby, some three plots away. They also seem to have taken into consideration the fact that the grave is about 90 yards from the church, and at the edge of the churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty approving the memorial, apart from the proposed tablet at the foot of the grave.

Re St. Wilfrid Barrow-on-Trent [2019] ECC Der 1

A major reordering of the Grade I church was proposed, including: a new timber floor with under-floor heating; a new ringing floor and glass screening to the tower; replacement of the pews with light-weight metal-framed chairs with wooden seats and backs; kitchenette and storage facilities; new lighting and audio-visual equipment. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for improving the church and its usability for both church and community use, in order to prevent further decline in the use of the church.