Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Re St. Leonard Blithfield [2014] Stephen Eyre Ch. (Lichfield)

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The Petitioners sought to reserve a grave in the churchyard next to the grave of their daughter. The priest in charge and churchwardens became parties opponent, objecting to the reservation on the grounds that the PCC had for many years had a policy of resisting the reservation of gravespaces and of operating a “first come first served” approach, which many parishioners had followed. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty on the basis that, where there was a long-standing PCC policy in place, he should not override that policy unless there was an exceptional reason for doing so. To grant a faculty in this case "would be to create the risk of real injustice to others who in circumstances of loss have themselves accepted the existing policy".

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