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:

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.

The Court of Arches held that, where a local authority was responsible for a closed churchyard, a parish council had sufficient interest to intervene in faculty proceedings concerning the laying flat of memorials there. Where memorials had been laid flat, the duty on the local authority to maintain the churchyard included an obligation to take into account the safety of memorials and the appearance of the churchyard, but a district council was under no duty to reinstate memorials it had laid flat. (This case is fully reported at [20o9] PTSR 968.)

Following a complaint by a parishioner, there were two petitions relating to the churchyards of two parishes. The Rector and Churchwardens sought a confirmatory faculty to allow the retention of several grave markers and other items which have been introduced without lawful authority, either because the Rector had allowed items to be introduced which were outside the delegated authority he had under the churchyards regulations or because items had been installed without his permission first being sought. In his judgment, the Chancellor emphasised the importance of clergy complying with their responsibilities under the regulations. The Chancellor granted a faculty with conditions requiring that several items should be removed from graves in the two churchyards.

The University of Oxford proposed a redevelopment of the site of the former Radcliffe Infirmary burial ground, which had been consecrated in 1770. The University therefore petitioned for the exhumation and subsequent reinterment of the human remains contained in the burial ground. The Chancellor granted a faculty. He was satisfied that the provisions of the Disused Burial Grounds Act 1884, which restricted building on disused burial grounds, did not apply, owing to an exception in the Act which excluded burial grounds transferred by statute (the site having been transferred to to the Minister of Health under the National Health Service Act 1946). He was also satisfied that there were exceptional circumstances to justify exhumation, namely, the public benefit to be derived from using the land for academic purposes.

In 2018, a former archdeacon, at the request of the incumbent, had agreed to the interment of some ashes in the closed churchyard, though the Chancellor could find no evidence of the incumbent advising the archdeacon that the churchyard was closed by Order in Council, in which case a faculty would have been required to authorise the interment. There was now an application for a confirmatory faculty for the interment and for the erection of a memorial. The Chancellor determined, for pastoral reasons, to grant a faculty.

In the churchyard of St. Adamnan's Church (otherwise known as the Old Kirk) in Lonan, on the Isle of Man, stands a building called the Cross House, so named because it houses a number of ancient crosses. The incumbent and churchwardens applied for a faculty to authorise the installation of an information board and signage to provide information about the crosses. A member of the Parochial Church Council lodged a letter of objection, claiming that the signage was unnecessary and that the Manx Museum and National Trust was responsible for the Cross House. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the work would not harm the building and that it would improve public understanding of the crosses and their significance.

The churchwardens and fabric officer of the church petitioned for a confirmatory faculty in relation to works of refurbishment to the area for cremated remains in the churchyard, which was surrounded by stone flags. Over a period prior to the summer of 2015 there had been complaints about the untidiness of the area and nine further interments of ashes had taken place outside the area, which had become full. The PCC, without a faculty, extended the area from 32 plots to 106 plots, replaced the turf with gravel, and constructed a low wall surmounted with stone around the enlarged plot. Following the discovery of the works by the Archdeacon, an application was made for a confirmatory faculty. The Chancellor was very concerned about the works, both from an aesthetic point of view and more importantly because of potential future maintenance issues. She granted a faculty for a limited period of 10 years, after which the situation should be reviewed.

The churchwardens and fabric officer of the church petitioned for a confirmatory faculty in relation to works of refurbishment to the area for cremated remains in the churchyard, which was surrounded by stone flags. Over a period prior to the summer of 2015 there had been complaints about the untidiness of the area and nine further interments of ashes had taken place outside the area, which had become full. The PCC, without a faculty, extended the area from 32 plots to 106 plots, replaced the turf with gravel, and constructed a low wall surmounted with stone around the enlarged plot. Following the discovery of the works by the Archdeacon, an application was made for a confirmatory faculty. The Chancellor was very concerned about the works, both from an aesthetic point of view and more importantly because of potential future maintenance issues. She granted a faculty for a limited period of 10 years, after which the situation should be reviewed.

The petition proposed the grant of an easement for limited purposes over a church-owned (unconsecrated) lane for the benefit of an adjoining property belonging to the Great Durnford Estate and used for the storage of garden machinery. The owner of another property fronting the lane objected. The Chancellor was satisfied that the terms of the proposed easement were fair and appropriate, and she granted a faculty.

The parish council decided to make a donation for the laying of cabling in the churchyard for external lighting to the church, and an external power point for Christmas lights. The work was carried out without faculty by an electrician who was a member of the parish council and also a  member of the PCC. The petition sought an order in respect of the unauthorised laying of the cable. In his judgment, the Chancellor emphasises the need for observance of the faculty jurisdiction, in view of such matters as the risk of disturbance of human remains; the need to give parishioners an opportunity of objecting; the need for planning permission; and insurance and safety issues.