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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 The Community of the Resurrection Mirfield [2010] Paul Downes Ch. (Wakefield)

There were proposals for reordering and the objector objected to the moving of the tombs of two bishops who were founding members of the Community, the levelling of the floor, the provision of heating and lighting, and the removal of the choir stalls and screen. The Chancellor directed the issue of a faculty for all the proposals, apart from the moving of the two tombs.

Re the Cremated Remains of AA [2018] ECC Lic 7

This is an anonymised judgment. The petitioner proposed to be buried in the same grave as her late sister and parents. However, when her sister's husband died, his cremated remains were interred in the same grave, notwithstanding that a granddaughter of the late sister had specifically asked the parish priest not to inter the husband's remains in the same grave, alleging that the husband had subjected her to repeated sexual abuse when she was young, and it would cause great distress to the family to have his remains in the same grave where the remains of some members of the family were already interred and where other members of the family wished their remains to be interred. The Chancellor decided that the continuing family distress which would be caused by allowing the husband's remains to be left in the grave amounted to exceptional circumstances justifying exhumation. He therefore granted a faculty for the exhumation of the husband's cremated remains and for reinterment of the remains in another churchyard.

Re The Holy Redeemer Lamorbey [2018] ECC Roc 1

There were extensive reordering proposals for the 1930s unlisted church at an estimated cost of nearly £1,000,000 (of which £775,000 was already available from the sale of some property): substantial reordering of the church, works to the church hall, which is a detached building, and other external works, involving the creation of an external play area, slight relocation of the war memorial, and widening of existing footpaths. The Twentieth Century Society raised no objections to the proposals. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to a condition that no work should commence until the Parochial Church Council had raised at least £900,000.

Re The Holy Rood Shillingstone [2021] ECC Sal 2

The incumbent and churchwardens sought a confirmatory faculty in respect of temporary reordering works previously authorised by an Archdeacon's Licence. The works comprised the removal of eight pews (simple pitch pine benches) and two pew frontals from the west end of the nave, together with the consequential floor repair and making safe of exposed electrical wiring. There were several letters of objection from local people. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the proposed changes would not result in harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest and that the Petitioners had discharged the burden upon them in proving that the proposed change was justified, namely, providing easier access to the nave for those with wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Re The Holy Saviour Bitterne [2019] ECC Win 3

Extensive reordering was proposed, including an extension to the church;a mezzanine floor and glazed screen within the church; and the replacement of pews with wooden chairs. There were four parties opponent and the Victorian Society submitted a written objection. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to conditions (inter alia) that the stone floor should not be covered with wooden flooring, and the poppy-headed stalls should be retained.

Re The Royal Burial Ground Frogmore [2013] Rupert Bursell Ch. (Oxford)

The Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia petitioned the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Oxford for permission to exhume the remains of Queen Maria of Yugoslavia from the consecrated Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore for reinterment in the unconsecrated family crypt in St George’s Church, Oplenac, in the city of Topola, Serbia. Although a faculty would not normally be granted for exhumation where reinterment would not take place in consecrated ground, the Chancellor was satisfied that the remains would be reinterred in "a place of real permanence", namely the royal mausoleum in Serbia, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re The Venerable Bede Wyther [2018] ECC Lee 3

In 2002 a faculty was granted for the installation of telecoms equipment in the church tower. A document entitled "Lease of Rights" was entered into by the then incumbent and the PCC and O2 (UK) Limited, but it was not authorised by the faculty. In 2013 the telecoms company wished to make changes to the equipment. Some work was done without faculty, but then an application was made in 2016 for a confirmatory faculty to approve the additional works. It was not clear to the Chancellor till much later that some of the work had not yet been done. The Chancellor was concerned about the lack of proper representation, the proposed draft lease/licence, and that before the proceedings were concluded the telecoms company decided to withdraw from the site, so that the Chancellor had to approve terms for the decommissioning of the equipment.

Re Tixall Road Cemetery Stafford [2014] Stephen Eyre Ch. (Lichfield)

The petitioner sought the exhumation of the cremated remains of her father, interred in 1977, in order to comply with the wish of her late mother, who died in 2013, that the ashes of both parents might be scattered together on the banks of the river Tyne in the village where the couple had met, courted and been married. The Chancellor determined that he was unable to grant a Faculty for two reasons: (1) beginning with the presumption that Christian burial should be regarded as final, and therefore exhumation should only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, the Court of Arches, in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002], expressly considered the case of a change of mind on the part of the relatives who had brought about the original interment and stated that this “should not be treated as an acceptable ground for authorising exhumation”; (2) where remains have been committed to the care of the Church, they should only be disturbed if the Court can be satisfied that appropriate arrangements are in place for the continuing protection of the remains.

Re Tixhall Road Cemetery Stafford [2021] ECC Lic 3

The petitioner's father had died in 2017 and was buried in the cemetery in Stafford, in one half of a double grave, so that the petitioner's mother could be buried next to her husband in due course. The petitioner and her mother intended to remain in Stafford, but circumstances changed and they moved to Anglesey. The petitioner wished to move her father's remains for reburial in Anglesey, where the petitioner's mother could in due course be buried next to her husband. The Deputy Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Following the guidance of the Court of Arches in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, the fact that the petitioner's mother (aged 95) was infirm and could no longer manage the journey to Stafford was not capable of being an exceptional circumstance such as to justify exhumation.

Re Tonge Moor St. Augustine (1) [2012] Geoffrey Tattersall Ch. (Manchester)

The Faculty Petition sought permission for (a) CCTV cameras, (b) a projector and screen, and (c) new railings for the churchyard. Objections were made in respect of the proposed new railings. The Chancellor granted a Faculty for all the items.