Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

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

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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.

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