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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 All Saints High Wycombe [2015] Alexander McGregor Ch. (Oxford

The proposals were to re-order the west end of the church, including (1) replacement of the outer west doors;  (2) relocation of the inner west screen doors to the bay of an arch between the chancel and the Lady Chapel; (3) creation of an entrance foyer at the west end with inner and outer screens and mezzanine floor above; and  (4) relocation of the font and its cover from the west end to the north aisle. Faculty granted, subject to the base of the font (designed by G.E. Street, architect of the Royal Courts of Justice) being retained, rather than replaced with a larger base, as proposed in the petition.

Re All Saints Higher Walton [2017] ECC Bla 9

The faculty proposed changes to the heating sytem, removal of the side aisle pews and introduction of upholstered chairs to match the chairs in the centre of the nave, which had been authorised in 2015 to replace the nave pews. The Victorian Society objected to more upholstered seating. The Chancellor concluded that, "It would not be reasonable to deny the petitioners more of the same sort of chair", and granted a faculty.

Re All Saints Honington [2017] ECC SEI 3

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission wished to replace a memorial to an airman from the local airfield, who with his fellow crewmen had died during the Second World War. The crew had all been buried together in the churchyard. The reason for wanting to change the memorial was that the original bore an inscribed cross, whilst the deceased was found to be of Jewish descent. The Chancellor decided that it would not normally be appropriate to allow in a churchyard a memorial bearing a Star of David, or a symbol of any other religion inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church of England, but he determined that there were exceptional circumstances in the present case to justify permitting a Star of David to be inscribed on the proposed replacement memorial.

Re All Saints Hooton Pagnell [2017] ECC She 1

In 2016 the Archdeacon discovered that a toilet, within a roofless cubicle, had been installed without the grant of a faculty in the church vestry and that the arrangements for the drainage of sewage from the toilet had involved excavation into the ancient churchyard. It was later discovered that a kitchen sink unit and a wall mounted electric water heater had been installed without faculty inside a cupboard at the base of the church tower. All of the works were said to be of poor quality. The Archdeacon, the Secretary of the Diocesan Advisory Committee ("DAC") and the Diocesan Registrar endeavoured to get the District Church Council ("DCC") to carry out restoration works. Eventually a faculty petition was filed for the restoration works. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the church to be restored to its former condition and directed that the DCC should pay the Registry costs and the costs of the DAC employing counsel to advise in the matter.

Re All Saints Houghton [2014] Christopher Clark Ch. (Winchester)

The Parochial Church Council sought permission to sell a painting attributed to the school of Francesco Albani and entitled "Ecce Homo", depicting a blood-spattered figure of Christ in a red cloak. The picture had been given to the church in 1921, and since then had hung on the north aisle wall. The painting was in need of a considerable amount of conservation work. The Church Buildings Council felt unable to recommend a sale. The PCC maintained that(a) the cost of insurance would be very high, (b) the painting was liable to be stolen, (c) it needed expensive restoration and would be liable to on-going deterioration, (d) whatever its intrinsic merits, the painting was not an essential part of the Church's architecture, worship or heritage and (e) a small congregation  was desperately anxious to focus its available resources on promoting the mission of the Church. On these considerations the Chancellor determined that a Faculty should be granted.

Re All Saints Hove [2020] ECC Chi 3

The works described in the petition were: 'Provision of a new café in the west end of the church including new freestanding café servery and food prep kitchen; integrated chair store; new services for the above (water, power, drainage); new glazed door to south porch; new loose café furniture and welcome desk.' The Victorian Society had reservations about the proposed chair storage, and suggested that the open servery could be replaced by one capable of being closed. The Chancellor, however, was satisfied with the two proposals. The Victorian Society also suggested that the choice of chair for the café area could be linked with a more holistic reordering of the seating in the church. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to conditions, including a condition that within five years the parish should put forward proposals for replacing the existing folding chairs in the body of the church.

Re All Saints Isley Walton [2022] ECC Lei 1

The subject matter of the petition was the felling of two mature lime trees in the churchyard. In 2020, a local authority tree expert had recommended that one tree should be felled and the other pollarded. The Parochial Church Council decided that both trees should be felled and replaced with yews. But subsequently, one tree was felled and the other pollarded. A formal complaint was made that the Archdeacon had erroneously allowed the felling of the first tree pursuant to List B of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules. The second tree was later felled. On the evidence, the Chancellor decided that the first tree had been in rapid decline due to decay,  that it was appropriate for it to be removed, and it had been appropriate for the Archdeacon to deal with the matter under List B; the second tree was dying and/or dangerous, and there would have been a case for the Archdeacon granting a List B consent, failing which felling of the second tree should have been the subject of a faculty petition. The Chancellor granted a retrospective faculty for the removal of the trees, subject to conditions.

Re All Saints Kirk Hallam [2019] ECC Der 7

The priest-in-charge and churchwardens wished to transfer permanently to the Erewash Museum the remains of a corroded wrought iron ‘Anglo-Saxon sword/weaving-batten’. This item had been discovered whilst a grave was being dug in about 2006. The Chancellor determined that the item, once removed from the ground, became a 'moveable' of the church and, as such, legally vested in the churchwardens. He also decided that the item was not a 'church treasure', as defined by the Court of Arches, and he was not therefore obliged to follow the advice of the appellate court to hold a hearing. (See Re Shipton Bellinger [2016] Fam 193, para. 23) The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re All Saints Ladbroke [2016] ECC Cov 6

The cremated remains of a wife and her husband had been interred in the same plot in 1971 and 2003 respectively, and there was an upright memorial was placed over the plot. In 2004 a single story extension to the church had been built, and the memorial stone was within inches of the extension. On two occasions since 2004, thieves had used the memorial as a stepping stone to gain access to the church roof and steal the lead. On the second occasion, the memorial had fallen over. The deceased's daughter wished to have her parents' remains and memorial moved to another part of the churchyard. The Chancellor determined that the need to reduce the risk of further lead theft and of damage to the roofs of the church (i.e., public benefit) justified the movement of the remains and the memorial: "This is wholly different from those cases where exhumation is sought for private purposes".

Re All Saints Leamington Hastings [2014] Stephen Eyre Ch. (Coventry)

In August 2013 there were two instances of the theft of lead from the roof of the south aisle of the church and a further attempt to steal the remaining lead. The removal of the lead caused rain damage to the organ. On 16th August 2013, at the request of the Parochial Church Council, the Chancellor authorised the removal of the remaining lead from the roof and its replacement by a substantial temporary covering. The Parochial Church Council chose to cover the roof with Dryseal GRP. The Petitioners sought a Faculty to authorise the retention of the GRP covering on a permanent basis, rather than replace the stolen lead with lead or terne-coated stainless steel. The Diocesan Advisory Committee, English Heritage and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings all considered that GRP was not appropriate as a permanent solution and favoured terne-coated steel. One of the PCC's arguments against steel (or indeed lead) was that, if the covering were again stolen, the insurers would limit a claim (including consequential damage) to £5,000 (or £10,000 if an alarm was fitted). The Chancellor decided that the insurance considerations should not be determinative of what was appropriate for the building. He decided that the GRP could remain for ten years, but must then be replaced by terne-coated steel or 'an equivalent metallic material'.