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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



The Petitioners sought to reserve a grave in the churchyard next to the grave of their daughter. The priest in charge and churchwardens became parties opponent, objecting to the reservation on the grounds that the PCC had for many years had a policy of resisting the reservation of gravespaces and of operating a “first come first served” approach, which many parishioners had followed. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty on the basis that, where there was a long-standing PCC policy in place, he should not override that policy unless there was an exceptional reason for doing so. To grant a faculty in this case "would be to create the risk of real injustice to others who in circumstances of loss have themselves accepted the existing policy".

The petitioners, who had lived in the parish since 1978, applied to reserve a double grave. At an unspecified date since 1978, the PCC had adopted a policy of not supporting future grave reservations. The Chancellor granted a faculty, as he was satisfied that the couple had been given the impression before the policy was adopted that they would be able to be buried in the churchyard: "It would be unreasonable, in my view in all the circumstances not to honour that indication."

The PCC had passed a resolution in 2009 that it would not support future applications for the reservation of graves, as it was estimated that the churchyard would be full within ten years. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for the reservation of a grave for a parishioner and his wife, who wished to be buried in a grave next to the Pet‭itioner's mother: "I have

There was an application for a faculty to create a grave in the east end of the north aisle of the Grade I church for the reburial of the remains of Capt. Matthew Flinders, the  famous navigator and cartographer, and the installation of a new ledger stone above the grave. Capt. Flinders' coffin, bearing his name, had been discovered in 2019 during HS2 works to expand Euston Station, and the proposal was to return his remains to the town where he was born. The churchyard had been closed for burials from 1 August 1865, but an Order in Council in 2020 added an exception to the original Order in Council, to allow the interment of Capt. Flinders' remains in the north aisle of the church. The Chancellor determined that, notwithstanding the 2020 Order in Council, a faculty was still needed to authorise the interment in the church, and there needed to be exceptional circumstances to allow an interment inside the church. He decided that the circumstances were exceptional, and that allowing the burial in church would not set a precedent, as the Orders in Council prevented any further burials. He therefore granted a faculty.

The four petitioners (one of whom wished to be cremated) petitioned to reserve exclusive rights of burial for 30 years in a triple-depth grave next to their parents' grave. The churchyard only had space for burials for 20 years. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but limited the reservation to 20 years.

The Parochial Church Council petitioned for permission to remove all toys, ornaments and other memorabilia and edgings from 67 graves within the churchyard, many of which items had been in the churchyard for a considerable time. The Chancellor considered all written objections, including a claim that to remove such items would be in breach of the law relating to human rights, but decided that the PCC was entirely within its rights in wishing to enforce the Churchyard Regulations, and accordingly a faculty was granted.

The Court refused to grant leave to appeal in respect of the judgment of the Chancellor of the Diocese of Chester, dated 4 August 2015, when the Chancellor refused to grant a faculty giving the petitioner the right to have her ashes interred in the grave of her late partner, the wife and two daughters of the deceased partner having objected to the grant of a faculty.

The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty giving the petitioner the right to have her ashes interred in the grave of the late partner she had been living with for 2-3 years. The wife and two daughters of the deceased partner had objected.

The petitioner, a parishioner, whose parents and grandparents were buried in the churchyard, wished to reserve a grave space for herself and her partner. The Parochial Church Council, a few days before the date of the petition, had, without giving notice to parishioners, decided to adopt a policy of no grave reservations, even though there was said to be enough room in the churchyard for burials for the next 50 years. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioner had made a good case for the reservation of a grave and granted a faculty.

The petitioners wished to reserve a grave in the churchyard of Hulme Walfield. They did not live in the parish. In Schedule 2 of the petition it was indicated that the incumbent and Churchwardens did not consent to the reservation. The Chancellor declined to grant a faculty on the basis that a burial of a non-parishioner could only take place with the consent of the incumbent, who should have regard to any general guidance given by the PCC (s 6(2) of the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 1976). So to grant a faculty would be to subvert the purpose of Section 6(2) of the 1976 measure, since the reservation of a grave by faculty would override the minister’s power to give or withhold consent to the eventual burial of non-parishioners.