Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Judgments: Churchyards

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The parish council decided to make a donation for the laying of cabling in the churchyard for external lighting to the church, and an external power point for Christmas lights. The work was carried out without faculty by an electrician who was a member of the parish council and also a member of the PCC. The petition sought an order in respect of the unauthorised laying of the cable. In his judgment, the Chancellor emphasises the need for observance of the faculty jurisdiction, in view of such matters as the risk of disturbance of human remains; the need to give parishioners an opportunity of objecting; the need for planning permission; and insurance and safety issues.

Faculty Petition for (a) CCTV cameras, (b) projector and screen, and (c) new railings for churchyard. Objections to new railings. Faculty granted for all items.

Further judgment in which the Chancellor refuses to make an order for costs against the Objectors.

The petition proposed the construction of a new boarding house for St. Paul's Cathedral School on the footprint of the former church (the body of which was destroyed by bombing in 1941), whilst retaining the Wren tower. Notwithstanding an objection from the Twentieth Century Society that the proposals would cause substantial harm and that this would not be outweighed by substantial public benefits, the Chancellor granted a faculty.

Faculty granted for the temporary placement of a hut in a churchyard, as a storage facility for the church Scout Group. The judgment contains a discussion as to the extent to which the use of a consecrated churchyard for secular purposes may be allowed.

The petitioners wished to fell an 18m tall Giant Redwood tree in the churchyard. There was one objector, who did not wish to become a party opponent. The local authority approved the felling of the tree. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

A decision on two petitions. One was for the construction of a church centre on part a 1965 addition to the churchyard (which had been consecrated) and the other for permission to grant a lease of the Church Centre site to a charitable company with a view to the construction and operation of the church centre. Faculty granted. Consideration of the law applicable to building in a churchyard in use.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the erection a pre-fabricated timber framed building in the community garden at the side of the church. The building would be supported on concrete blocks and would therefore require the provision of a temporary ramp to allow access for the disabled. The judgment contains a discussion on the need for compliance with the Equality Act 2010.

Faculty granted for construction of church hall in churchyard.