Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Judgments: Organs


There had originally been a proposal to sell the organ located in the church tower, and to use the space presently occupied by the organ to provide for kitchen and toilet facilities. The organ had not been used for many years, but had been installed shortly after the church had been built in the 19th century. However, the current petition was limited to the sale and removal of the organ. The Chancellor was satisfied in principal that the removal of the organ and installation of the kitchen and toilet facilities would benefit the church and the community, and he granted a faculty for the sale of the organ, provided that the sale would take place within two years, and provided also that the organ should remain as it is until the petitioners have permission from the Court to install the proposed kitchen and toilet facilities.

The petitioners sought a faculty to restore and reposition the Hill organ in the church. There was one objector. Faculty granted.

Christ Church Fulwood is listed Grade II and has an average Sunday attendance over four services of 887. The proposed works included the creation of a courtyard in the churchyard, between the church and the road, in order to provide better access and a circulation area. There was also a proposal to replace the pipe organ with an electronic instrument in order to provide more seating space. The proposal for the new courtyard was opposed by a married couple, as there were some old family graves in the area affected by the proposal. The Church Buildings Council was "uncomfortable with the proposal to remove the pipe organ to replace it with an electronic instrument". The Chancellor granted a faculty for both items.

An application was made for a Faculty to authorise the removal of a Victorian pipe organ, and its replacement with an electronic organ. This would be part of a larger project of re-ordering, for which an application for a faculty had not yet been made. The reasons for removal of the organ were that the organ was rarely used, it did not suit the evangelical style of worship, and its removal would free up space to create two meeting rooms. The Victorian Society objected to the proposals. Re St. Alkmund Duffield considered. Faculty granted.

The PCC decided to replace the late 19th century pipe organ with a digital organ. An application was made for an interim faculty to install the digital organ, but to leave the pipe organ in situ, pending the grant of a permanent faculty. An interim faculty was granted. One parishioner objected to the purchase of the digital organ, principally on the basis of the cost. Faculty granted.

The Rector and Churchwardens applied for a faculty for the installation of a WC in the north-west corner of the church, the replacement of the pipe organ with an electronic organ, the re-siting of some pews, and the rearrangement of some windows. The only contentious item was the removal of the pipe organ to accommodate the WC facilities. The pipe organ had been installed in the 1950s and was of doubtful provenance. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The Petitioners sought a faculty for the rebuilding and restoration of the organ in the nineteenth century Grade II listed church. An organs adviser from the Church Buildings Council advised against the planing of the pedal keys, the replacement of the ivories, and the stripping of the front pipes before their repainting. The Chancellor determined to grant a faculty for the proposed works, but without imposing the conditions recommended by the organs adviser.

The Rector and fellow petitioners applied for the Victorian church organ to be declared redundant and removed, whilst retaining the decorative front row of pipes between the chancel and the vestry behind. The description of works in the Statement of Needs described the works slightly differently by saying that the organ should be placed on the Redundant Organ List of the Institute of British Organ Builders ("IBO"). A report from the Church Buildings Council recommended that the organ was of sufficient quality to merit its relocation as a complete instrument and that it should be placed on the IBO list. The Deputy Chancellor declared that the organ was redundant and that the complete organ shall be put on the IBO list for a minimum of six months. He also directed that amended plans be prepared for the division of the chancel from the vestry using oak panelling.

The installation of a digital organ and a moveable font in the church of St. Nicholas Radford Semele, a reconstructed church severely damaged by fire in 2008.