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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. Wilfrid Barrow-on-Trent [2019] ECC Der 3

The parish was involved in a major reordering project costing around £850,000, which had been approved by faculty in February 2019. Two months after the faculty was granted, thieves stole lead from the chancel roof, and the cost of replacing the lead immediately would have been impossible for the Parochial Church Council ("PCC"), bearing in mind their current commitments. They therefore applied for a faculty to authorise the covering of the chancel with roofing felt as a temporary measure. The Chancellor decided that the priority was to take steps to prevent further ingress of water as soon as possible. He therfore granted a faculty to authorise the covering of the chancel roof with roofing felt for a period of up to five years, subject to a condition that before the expiry of such period the PCC should put forward proposals for a more permanent covering.

Re St. Wilfrid Davenham [2017] ECC Chr 2

In 2010 the petitioner had approached the then Rector regarding the reservation of a grave for himself and his wife. The Rector subsequently wrote to the petitioner to say that the grave in question had been reserved, though in fact no faculty had been granted. In 2015 the PCC refused to support another application for the reservation of a grave, and the Chancellor had refused a faculty in January 2016, on the grounds that the churchyard was almost full of burials and closure was contemplated. When the present petitioner became aware in 2017 of the PCC's refusal to support a faculty in 2015, he was upset, firstly, that he had not been advised in 2010 that a faculty was required, and, secondly, that a ‘precedent’ appeared to have been set by a refusal of a reservation in 2015/16. He applied nevertheless for a faculty. The Chancellor granted a faculty in the special circumstances of the case, making it clear that he did not do so as a result of the petitioner's position as a reader in the parish, but because since 2010 the petitioner and his wife had entertained a reasonable expectation that their burial arrangements had lawfully been approved.

Re St. Wilfrid Grappenhall [2015] David Turner Ch. (Chester)

A married couple had applied for a Faculty to reserve a grave space in the churchyard. The PCC had decided on a general policy of not supporting the reservation of graves. The Chancellor determined that, in the absence of an exceptional reason (there being none in this case) for him to act contrary to the PCC policy, he should not allow a faculty to be granted to reserve a grave.

Re St. Wilfrid Mobberley [2012] David Turner Ch. (Chester)

Faculty granted for the construction of a disabled toilet and storage space in the former organ chamber, and a kitchenette at the west end of the north aisle.

Re St. Wilfrid Standish [2018] ECC Bla 2

The petitioner wished to have the remains of her father ("the deceased") exhumed from the grave immediately next to the grave of his second wife and reinterred in the grave of the deceased's first wife, which grave also contained the remains of the deceased's parents, in order that a new memorial bearing the names of all four members of the family could then be put on the grave. The Chancellor ruled that there were no special circumstances which would justify the grant of a faculty. It appeared that before his death the deceased believed that there was no room for him to be buried in the same grave as his first wife and parents and was content to be buried elsewhere in the churchyard. His second wife died shortly after the deceased from a terminal illness, and it was assumed that they would naturally wish to be buried together after 28 years' marriage. Moreover, 25 years had passed since the deceased's death, and there was no explanation as to why an application had not been made earlier.

Re St. Wilfrid Standish [2024] ECC Bla 1

The petitioners, residents of the parish for 58 years and with many relatives buried in the churchyard, wished to reserve a grave space for 25 years. In 2022 the Parochial Church Council had made a decision not to support any more reservations of graves, in view of the small number of empty grave spaces remaining. The Deputy Chancellor concluded that there was no sufficient justification for the Court to take the exceptional course of allowing a reservation when there was only space for burials for an estimated period of 18 to 24 months.

Re Stile Cop Cemetery [2018] ECC Lic 2

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of his father exhumed from one plot in the cemetery and reinterred in another plot with the cremated remains of his recently deceased mother. The reasons given for the application were: (1) the petitioner's father's burial plot was close to the entrance of the cemetery, and when members of the family visited the plot, all other people visiting the cemetery would be passing by them; (2) there was no convenient seat at which to sit and reflect; and (3) the plot was next to a gully cover. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioner genuinely found the location of the plot unsuitable, but he could not find any exceptional reason to justify exhumation.

Re Stoke by Clare Cemetery [2019] ECC SEI 1

The petitioner's husband's cremated remains had been interred in the cemetery at Stoke by Clare in 2001. Since that time, the petitioner had moved to Haverhill. By reason of her age and cuts in local transport, the petitioner was now finding it difficult to visit her husband's grave, and she wished to have his remains exhumed and reinterred in Haverhill Cemetery. The Chancellor was unable to grant a faculty, as he found that the circumstances did not provide an exception such as the law required him to find before permitting an exhumation.

Re Stourport Town Cemetery [2022] ECC Wor 8

The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise the exhumation of the remains of the petitioner's father and reinterment after the removal of some jewellery, which, owing to a mistake by the funeral directors, had been included in the interment, contrary to the wishes of the family.

Re Streatham Cemetery [2023] ECC Swk 3

The burial authority sought authorisation to reuse two areas of Streatham Cemetery largely free of memorials. The Chancellor considered that the proposals were in principle both acceptable and commendable, to facilitate the economical use of land and to address the continuing shortage of grave space. He therefore granted a faculty.