Judgment Search

Downloads

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 4 June 2020

Index by Dioceses of all judgments on this web site, as at 4 June 2020

Churchyards

Display:

In 1970, a recreation centre for children had been erected on part of the consecrated churchyard, adjacent to the Church of England School. In 2012 the Chancellor had granted a faculty for the demolition of the 1970 building and the erection of a new school and community building in its place. There was no party opponent to the application. In 2014 an application was made by Spitalfields Open Space Ltd. for a restitution order requiring the new building to be demolished, as it had been erected unlawfully on consecrated ground. The Chancellor dismissed the application. There was an application for an appeal to the Court of Arches. The Rector subsequently applied for a confirmatory faculty. The The Court of Arches remitted the application for a restitution order for determination by a Deputy Chancellor, who granted a confirmatory faculty for the building.

Leave to appeal granted by the Court of Arches on limited grounds.

Spitalfields Open Space Limited and others v The Governing Body of Christ Church Primary School and others (No 2) [2019] EACC 1

In 2012/13 a building (“the Nursery”) was erected on part of the disused, but still consecrated, churchyard to the south-east of Christ Church, Spitalfields, in the diocese of London. The Nursery was erected unlawfully, in contravention of section 3 of the Disused Burial Grounds Act 1884, which prohibits the erection of buildings in consecrated churchyards. In December 2017 the acting Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of London issued a confirmatory faculty in respect of the Nursery, and refused to make a restoration order requiring the demolition of the Nursery.  She also held that Spitalfields Open Space Limited did not have a sufficient interest to take part in the legal proceedings. On an appeal to the Court of Arches, the Court determined that:
(1) Spitalfields Open Space Limited had a sufficient interest;
(2) the Consistory Court had not had the power to grant a confirmatory faculty;
(3) an application by a Mr. Ouvry to intervene in the appeal should be refused;
(4) it was appropriate to make a restoration order, requiring the demolition of the Nursery.
(5) to allow time for the occupants of the Nursery to relocate, the restoration of the site need not be completed until 1 February 2029.

There were to petitions. The first related to the construction of a new church hall linked to the south porch; removal of internal draught lobby; external lighting; tree felling, landscaping and signage. The second sought the necessary authorisation for the Petitioners (the Incumbent and Churchwardens) to enter into a contract with the Diocese of Southwark for the transfer of a small piece of land to the south west of the church building which was required for part of the proposed new structure. The Victorian Society objected to the new hall being constructed so close to the Grade II church, but was not a party opponent. The Deputy Chancellor determined that a Faculty should be granted.

The cemetery has two lodges. One has been used for many years as a private residence, and the other as Council offices. The land on which the lodges were built is not consecrated, but the immediately adjacent land used as garden is consecrated. The local Council wished to sell both lodges for use as private residences with gardens. The Chancellor determined that the consecrated pieces of land to be used as gardens (which contained a number of recorded burials, but none within the last 100 years) could not lawfully be sold by the Council, but the Chancellor was willing to grant a faculty to authorise the granting of licences by the Council for the two pieces of land to be used as gardens.

The Chancellor considered two petitions relating to the disused burial ground of Holy Trinity Church Hull, now Hull Minster. The proposals related to part of the burial ground being used for widening of the A63 main road in Hull at a difficult junction, and included the excavation of human remains; analysis of a large sample of the remains; the reinterment of the remains; the re-siting of memorials; rebuilding of the boundary wall of the burial ground; and landscaping. There was one objection from a lady whose forbears were buried in the part of the burial ground which would be affected by the road-widening. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made out in terms of public benefit and authorised the issue of the faculties sought.

In 2007 the Parochial Church Council passed a resolution implementing a policy of restricting the interment of ashes in the closed churchyard to those of people on the electoral roll at their death and whose names has been on the roll continuously for at least the last ten years; also that no further memorial stones should be permitted. The petitioner wished to have his wife's cremated remains interred in a new plot and a memorial plaque placed over the plot. The petitioner's wife had been on the electoral roll for three years, but the family had worshipped at the church for many years and members of the family were buried in the churchyard, with the burials marked by memorials. The Chancellor stated that the PCC's policy could not override his discretion and granted a faculty for the interment and memorial.

The proposals were for a major re-ordering of the churchyard, which included the removal of a section of the 19th century churchyard wall included in the Grade I listing of the church, the creation of a piazza with seating and a new parking area. The reason for the proposed removal of a section of the wall was to open the church up to the adjoining public square, so as to allow for greater community use of the square and churchyard. The Victorian Society objected strongly to the removal of the wall, but did not wish to be a party opponent. Looking at the wider context of a growing church and a developing and culturally growing city, the Chancellor determined that the significant potential benefits of the scheme to the church and community would outweigh the moderate loss which would be caused by the development.

The church is surrounded on three sides by iron railings with a bar at the top surmounted by finials in the shape of a fleur-de-lys. In 2014 a child climbed the fence in an attempt to recover a frisbee, which had flown into the churchyard. The child slipped and impaled his head on one of the finials, causing damage to his jaw. The PCC sought to remove the risk of another similar incident by seeking permission to place a bar across the tops of the finials. Notwithstanding that the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not approve the proposal, but suggested alternatives, the Chancellor granted a faculty.

Faculty granted for the erection of metal railings surmounted by Raptor anti-scaling barrier on the north and west sides of the churchyard, as a security measure to prevent further lead thefts.