Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Judgments: Repairs


In 2008, the church architect sought formal advice from the Diocesan Advisory Committee for internal redecoration of the church. A revised request for formal advice was submitted in 2011. The DAC issued a certificate (with provisos) in respect of "a single coat of lime wash to the interior of the church". Work started in 2013, although no faculty had been granted. By the beginning of 2017, the walls were discoloured with algae. The architect advised the PCC that any remedial work and repainting would be covered by the earlier faculty (which in fact did not exist). Repainting was carried out in 2017, but with white clay paint instead of lime wash. When it was discovered by the DAC Secretary that the work had been done without faculty, an application was made for a confirmatory faculty. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but criticised the architect for allowing work to proceed without first making sure that a faculty had been granted, and he directed that the architect should pay two-thirds of the court fees.

A Faculty had been granted by the Archdeacon for repairs to the pink sandstone of the church tower using a local stone, as recommended by the architect. The architect had subsequently recommended a similar, Scottish stone, which would be cheaper. A director of the local quarry objected to the Scottish stone being used, on the grounds that the local stone was likely to be more suitable. The Chancellor determined that the Faculty should be amended to provide that the PCC might use either stone, subject to the conditions that the PCC should consider (a) the advice from the Diocesan Advisory Committee that the Scottish stone might weather differently from the other stone on the building (b) the offer by the local quarry to match the price of Scottish stone and (c) the architect’s assessment as to whether the local stone would be acceptable for use at Great Ness.

The faculty petition related to extensive repairs to the church. Though the petition was unopposed, the Chancellor highlighted a 'serious procedural problem', in that the Public Notice did not adequately summarise the nature of the proposed works, such that someone reading the Public Notice would understand what was proposed.It simply said: ‘To undertake repairs and refurbishments in accordance with the Schedule of Works ref 1403A prepared by Jane Holt Architect 16.02.18 and accompanying drawings numbered…….’ The Chancellor therefore directed the issue of new Public Notices summarising the works, and granted an interim faculty for the work to start, subject (inter alia) to a condition that if notice of objection was received, then the work should stop if the Chancellor so ordered.

Petition for repairs to external stonework (ironstone) of a twelfth century church. Objections as to the extent of the proposed replacement of stone with stone from the same quarry as the original. Faculty granted.