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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

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There was a proposal to fell two yew trees in the churchyard and to reduce the height of three other yew trees. A neighbour argued that the felling of one of the trees would affect the amenity of his house. The petitioners said they wished to have the two trees removed in anticipation of building an extension to the church. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for the felling of the first two trees. The petitioners would have to make a case for the removal of the trees if and when they submitted a petition for an ewxtension to the church. However, he granted a faculty for the reduction in height of the other three trees. 

The Rector and churchwardens wished to replace the gravel between the churchyard gate and the main entrance of the church with stone to match the stonework of the church. The Diocesan Advisory Committee advised the Chancellor that Forest of Dean or Welsh Pennant stone should be used, whereas the Rector and churchwardens wished to use the less expensive Indian sandstone. After considering further advice from the church architect and a member of the DAC, the Chancellor was concerned that "Indian sandstone blends less comfortably with the weathered stone of the church". He therefore granted a faculty subject to a condition that Forest of Dean or Welsh Pennant stone should be used.

The petitioners wished to fell an 18m tall Giant Redwood tree in the churchyard. There was one objector, who did not wish to become a party opponent. The local authority approved the felling of the tree. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The petitioners wished to carry out works in the churchyard, comprising the creation of an area for cremated remains; creation of a garden for social and recreational use; and the reconfiguration and resurfacing of the parking area. There was an objection in respect of the parking area. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to conditions regarding memorials, human remains and the recording of the works.

A decision on two petitions. One was for the construction of a church centre on part a 1965 addition to the churchyard (which had been consecrated) and the other for permission to grant a lease of the Church Centre site to a charitable company with a view to the construction and operation of the church centre. Faculty granted. Consideration of the law applicable to building in a churchyard in use

The Chancellor granted a faculty the authorise the introduction of 8-10 sheep into one of the three churchyards of the parish, for the purpose of keeping down the vegetation.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the erection a pre-fabricated timber framed building in the community garden at the side of the church. The building would be supported on concrete blocks and would therefore require the provision of a temporary ramp to allow access for the disabled. The judgment contains a discussion on the need for compliance with the Equality Act 2010.

The Vicar and Churchwardens applied for a faculty to authorise the construction of a church hall, to replace on old shed-like building, on an unconsecrated extension to the churchyard to the east of the church. The new building would, however, encroach very slightly on to the consecrated part of the churchyard extension. The Chancellor granted a faculty, notwithstanding the slight encroachment of the proposed building on the consecrated part of the churchyard.

There was a proposal to fell two sycamore trees in the closed churchyard. Probably due to the very dry summer of 2018, the roots of one of the trees in question had caused ground shrinkage, resulting in the appearance of vertical cracks at the corner of the church building. There were three letters of objection, but no formal parties opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied as to the need to fell the trees and granted a faculty.

The Petitioners (the Rector and Churchwardens) sought a faculty to authorise the removal of a panel fence erected by neighbours on what was alleged to be churchyard land; to authorise the erection of a post and rail fence within the churchyard boundary; to give a direction as to the ownership of a stone retaining wall on the boundary and as to the responsibility for its maintenance; and to authorise the implementation of recommendations contained in a report from a company of tree consultants concerning trees and shrubs near the boundary. In the course of the proceedings the Objectors withdrew their claim that the fence they had erected was not on churchyard land and removed the fence. A declaration was given that the retaining wall belonged to the churchyard, and the petitioners were given leave to erect a post and rail fence and plant a double width yew hedge on the churchyard side of the new fence. At the end of the judgment is an additional judgment as to costs.