Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Judgments: Reordering

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There were various re-ordering proposals for the unlisted church. The main objections were to the removal of ten pews and their replacement with folding chairs, and also to safety aspects of the proposed kitchen facilities. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made out their case and directed the issue of a faculty.

Faculty granted for major re-ordering of a Grade 1 listed church. Principles laid down in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2012] (Court of Arches) considered.

Faculty granted for re-ordering scheme, including the replacement of the existing pews with chairs; reconfiguring the existing dais at the east end of the chancel; moving of the font; conversion of the existing baptistery into a servery; renewal of heating, lighting and audio visual systems; redecoration the church interior; building of an extension on the south side of the church to provide offices; and provision of an enclosed garden area on the south side of the church between the church and the church hall.

A judgment dealing with a matter outstanding from Re Holy Trinity Wandsworth [2012], namely the repositioning of the font and the baptistry screen. Re Duffield discussed. Faculty granted.

The Dean of Arches granted to the Victoria Society leave to appeal on restricted grounds in respect of a judgment by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Peterborough relating to reordering proposals for the church of St. Botolph Longthorpe.

There had been a scheme for reordering parts of the church, most of which had already been approved by the Chancellor. The only outstanding item was the proposed introduction of carpets in the nave. The Diocesan Advisory Committee was of the opinion that carpet was not appropriate for a Grade II* church, "being too domestic in appearance". Historic England (though it did not wish to be a party opponent) objected that the introduction of carpet would be harmful to the significance of the building. The Chancellor was however satisfied that the petitioners had made out a good case for the introduction of carpet and did not feel that it would have the adverse impact claimed by Heritage England. He therefore granted a faculty.

Faculty granted for the removal of a pew platform and four pews from the west end of the church, the Chancellor being satisfied that there were "compelling justifications on the basis of liturgical freedom, pastoral well-being and putting the church to other viable uses consistent with its sacred character."

The petitioners wished to remove four rows of pews from the west end of the nave, in order to allow greater community use of the church. The church had a mixture of medieval and Victorian pews. The Chancellor granted a faculty to allow the removal of the pews as requested, with the exception of one medieval pew and frontal.

The priest-in-charge and churchwardens sought a faculty for a reordering of the interior of the Grade II listed church. The works included: the removal of some pews; a carpeted nave dais; removal of the riddel posts; upholstered chairs;and other items. The Chancellor, having considered the approach recommended in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2013] Fam 158, decided that " ... any harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest is outweighed by the proven needs of the parish ... the determinative feature seems to be that all these proposals are wholly reversible."