Ecclesiastical Law Association

Ecclesiastical Law Association

Judgments: Windows


This was an application for a faculty to install a stained glass window in the Grade II church in memory of the late husband of the church organist. The deceased had been a farmer, and the design (recommended by the Diocesan Advisory Committee) included "two doves and an owl, a small figure in silhouette, possibly sowing in a broadcast fashion, and a donkey and rabbit, with a tree in leaf and on the branches the words: ‘Lord make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred let me sow love’". The Church Buildings Council was of the opinion that this design would not sit well with the other stained glass windows, depicting single figures in a more traditional design. However, the Chancellor determined to grant a faculty. There was a memorial inscription on the proposed window. The Chancellor did not consider that he had to treat an application for a memorial window in the same way as an application for a memorial in church (i.e., the deceased had made some outstanding contribution to the life of the church, the community or the nation).

The proposal was to replace an existing plain glass window with a stained glass design depicting St. John the Evangelist in the left hand light and St. George in the right hand light. The window would be a gift to the church from the Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington GCVO, and an inscription at the base of one of the lights would state that it was a  gift to the church from him. The Church Buildings Council raised various concerns, one of which was that there was a general principle that living donors should not be commemorated in stained glass or other church artworks. Whilst recognising such a generally accepted principle, the Deputy Chancellor stated that it was possible to allow exceptions. In the present case the donor was a 'son of the village', and had held office as Home Secretary and as Governor of Bermuda. A Faculty was granted.

The Diocesan Advisory Committee recommended that the restoration of two windows at the east end of the church should be carried out by a stained glass contractor accredited by ICON (Institute of Conservation). The Parochial Church Council wished to engage a contractor who had previously carried out work at the church but was not so accredited. The Deputy Chancellor: " ... it would be unjudicial of me blindly to apply a blanket requirement for the ICON accreditation of contractors ... [the chosen contractor] clearly has a significant number of years experience working on similar projects to the acclaim of well respected professionals. He has considered and addressed concerns raised by the CBC and is clearly sympathetic to conservation concerns and the need to preserve originality where possible." Faculty granted.

Petition for installation of secondary glazing in a Grade II church building no longer used as a church, but as a community hall. Re St. Alkmund Duffield considered. Faculty granted.

The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty for the introduction of a new single lancet stained glass window, to replace an existing plain glass window, in commemoration of the church's 300 years anniversary in 2016 and in memory of the son of the donors of the window, being satisfied that both the design and the memorial inscriptions were appropriate; that the new window would complement an existing modern stained glass window within the same north elevation of the church; and that it would not result in any harm to the significance of the Grade II church as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

In July 2013 the Chancellor granted of a faculty authorising works in respect of the stonework, stained glass, and wall paintings at the church. The Church Buildings Council had advised against the proposed work to the stained glass without a detailed conservation report. The faculty granted in July 2013 was subject to a condition that no work should be carried out to the stained glass unless and until a report was first prepared and approved by the Chancellor. A report had now been produced, in which the options given were to replace the broken pieces of glass with similar modern glass, or to insert strapping to support the original damaged glass. The Chancellor decided that the former option was appropriate. The window concerned was one of four matching windows, and new pieces of glass would retain an appearance similar to the other windows, whereas strapping would detract from the appearance of the window, especially as it was part of a set.

The Petitioners sought a faculty for repairs to the stone work, together with repairs to the stained glass and works of conservation in relation to the wall paintings. The Diocesan Advisory Committee recommended the proposals and the Victorian Society had no objection. The Church Buildings Council advised against the proposed work to the stained glass without a detailed conservation report. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to a condition that no work should be carried out to the stained glass (in a window damaged by missiles from outside) unless and until a report was first prepared and approved by the Chancellor.

Faculty granted for polycarbonate window guards, notwithstanding that the Diocesan Advisory Committee had not recommended them, but had recommended wire mesh guards instead.

Medieval tracery and stained glass forming the east window of the church had been removed in the 1880s, due to subsidence. New tracery and stained glass were installed. The old glass and tracery were placed in storage. In 1975 the tracery was laid out near the replacement east window and the glass was given on loan to the Stained Glass Museum at Ely.The Vicar and Churchwardens now sought a faculty to convert the loan of the glass to a gift. Re St Lawrence Oakley with Wootton St. Lawrence [2014] Court of Arches considered. Faculty granted.