Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Judgments: Reordering

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The petition proposed an extensive reordering of the Grade II late Victorian church, which would "provide a more flexible space, improved facilities, proper disabled access, proper facilities for families and children, modern heating, modern lighting and a more attractive physical environment to develop the Parish's mission." The Chancellor granted a faculty for the proposed works, with the exception of the proposal to cover all the Victorian tiles in the nave with a wooden floor. The Chancellor stated that he would deal with the issue of the floor by way of an addendum to the judgment, after the parish had had a further opportunity to discuss the matter with the Victorian Society, who had objected to all the tiles being covered.

The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise the permanent removal of the pulpit, which had previously been moved under an archdeacon's licence for temporary reordering. The judgment contains a warning to archdeacons about the need to comply with the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules as regards the management of licences for temporary reordering.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for a major re-ordering, being satisfied that the benefits of the proposed works would outweigh any the harm to the significance of the Grade I listed church as a building of architectural or historic interest. The proposed works included a new kitchen and two new toilets (to replace the existing kitchen and single toilet); the replacement of the pews with chairs; and new screening for chair storage at the tower.

Faculty granted for the replacement of half the pew benches with chairs.

The faculty petition proposed a major reordering of a Grade II* listed church, the details of which are too numerous to include in this brief note, but included the replacement of the vestry with a four storey extension to the church, to provide meeting rooms and offices; the removal of the pews and replacement with Howe 40/4 chairs; the carpeting of the whole floor; and the creation of a kitchen. The amenity societies involved objected to several of the proposals. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the majority of the items. One of the items he declined to approve was the carpeting of the nave.

Faculty granted for the installation of two glass screens and doors.

Judgment in an appeal to the Court of Arches against a refusal by the Chancellor to grant a faculty for the introduction of a raised area at the east end of the nave and the moving of four pews from the south aisle to the north aisle to allow space for a ramp to the raised area.

The proposals were for a major reordering, for most of which there were no objections. Amongst the amenity societies consulted, only the Victorian Society became a party opponent, objecting principally to the proposed removal from the nave of "one of the most magnificent and extensive suites of Victorian church seating in the country". In weighing the benefits which the proposals would bring against any loss to the historical and architectural importance of the church, the Chancellor had to consider the evidence of the petitioners as to the financial viability of the church, if the works were not carried out. On balance he determined in favour of the petitioners and granted a faculty.

Faculty granted for £1m re-ordering program of works, including removal of pews, creation of vestry and office in chapel, heating, lighting, drainage and other internal works.