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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 24 November 2021

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site, as at 24 November 2021

Churchyards

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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.

The petition proposed the construction of a new boarding house for St. Paul's Cathedral School on the footprint of the former church (the body of which was destroyed by bombing in 1941), whilst retaining the Wren tower. Notwithstanding an objection from the Twentieth Century Society that the proposals would cause substantial harm and that this would not be outweighed by substantial public benefits, the Chancellor granted a faculty.

The Vicar and Churchwardens wished to erect a prefabricated shed in the churchyard as a storage facility for the local scout group. The Chancellor did not regard it as appropriate that part of church land should be permanently given over to a secular storage building, but was willing to grant a faculty for a temporary licence to install and use the proposed building for a period of five years.

There was a proposal to remove two large yew trees growing close to the vestry. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty for the removal of one tree, as it appeared that it had caused damage to the vestry. He declined to grant a faculty for the other tree, the removal of which would have resulted in a loss of privacy for a neighbour, unless (1) further monitoring showed that the tree was causing damage to the vestry; (2) the trees advisor or architect recommended the removal; and (3) a scheme of planting was proposed to preserve privacy for the neighbour.

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.