Judgment Search


Click on one of the following to view and/or download the relevant document:

Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2022 judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022



The Parochial Church Council wished to fell and grind out the roots of a holly tree and to repair a collapsed section of the churchyard wall. A parishioner objected that the removal of the tree was unnecessary; that judicious pruning would allow the wall to be rebuilt; and that the cost was excessive. The proposal was recommended by the Diocesan Advisory Committee, a tree specialist and the church's inspecting architect. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for the removal of the tree and he granted a faculty, subject to a condition for a replacement planting in the churchyard.

The petitioners wished the Chancellor to authorise the setting aside of an area for cremated remains in the churchyard extension and to authorise a variation of the standard churchyards regulations in order to allow the incumbent to permit in future the erection of upright memorials and 'desktop memorials' in the churchyard extension to mark interments of cremated remains. They also asked the Chancellor to grant a confirmatory faculty in respect of upright memorials and 'desktop memorials' already installed to mark interments of cremated remains in the churchyard and churchyard extension during the past 18 years. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made out a satisfactory case for the proposals and granted a faculty accordingly

The petitioners wished to amend the Churchyards Regulations in relation to the parish of Minety only. The proposal was to replace Regulation 8, which provides (inter alia) for interments to be marked by memorials laid horizontal just below the level of the surrounding turf, with a new Regulation 8 including authority for the incumbent to give permission for an upright memorial (but not a cross) in the area set aside for cremated remains where cremated remains are interred next to the adjacent wall. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise the removal from the churchyard of a tree which was in danger of causing damage to an adjoining property.

The Grade I church of St. Leonard Old Langho is closed and vested in the Churches Conservation Trust, but the churchyard remains the responsibility of the Parochial Church Council. The vicar of the parish in which the church lies applied for a retrospective faculty to authorise the retention of two benches placed in the churchyard by persons unknown without the authority of a faculty or List B approval under the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules. Retrospective approval under List B is not possible, hence the need for a faculty. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but stated that in future he would "expect any PCC to petition for the removal of any unauthorised benches which they may find within their churchyard, leaving it to the person or persons who placed each bench there to petition for its retention, and to justify their conduct in having proceeded without prior lawful authority."

Faculty granted for the removal wooden and plastic kerbs from a number of graves.

The works proposed included improvements to the churchyard paths, including step-free access to the church, and in the course of such works the carrying out of archeological works with the objective of re-excavating a structure in the churchyard found by a nineteenth century incumbent but re-buried in 1929. This structure is believed to be the remains of a Saxon church. Letters of objection from two neighbours expressed concern about the impact of the works on the adjacent lane. The Chancellor was satisfied that the improvement of the paths would enhance the churchyard, and also examining, recording and securing for the future archaeological remains of national and possible international significance justified the granting of a faculty.

The vicar and churchwardens applied for a faculty to re-use the churchyard for burials. Though the churchyard was not closed by Order in Council, burials could now only take place in existing graves. There was one objector. A hearing was held, at which the Chancellor dismissed the objector's twelve grounds of objection as having no substance, in view of which, and also of the fact that the objector had refused to have the matter dealt with by written representations, the Chancellor directed that the objector should pay the costs of the half-day hearing.

As part of the Ashford Borough Council's Ashford Snowdogs art trail, there was a proposal to place in the churchyard a statute of a brightly painted dog. There was one objector, a parishioner whose house overlooked the churchyard, who objected to the installation on aesthetic grounds. As the proposal was that the dog would only be in the churchyard for 10 days, the Commissary General considered that, in view of the community  benefits of the project, the installation's presence would be so transitory as to make the diminution of the Church’s setting insignificant. She accordingly granted a faculty allowing the installation for 10 days.

The Parish Council, which was responsible for the maintenance of the closed churchyard at Chithurst, wished to fell an ash tree, which was suffering from ash die-back, on the grounds that the disease might cause the tree to become dangerous within the next few years and cause damage to the church or passers-by. The proposal was opposed by two neighbours. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for the felling of the tree and granted a faculty.