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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 priest-in-charge and churchwardens wished to transfer permanently to the Erewash Museum the remains of a corroded wrought iron ‘Anglo-Saxon sword/weaving-batten’. This item had been discovered whilst a grave was being dug in about 2006. The Chancellor determined that the item, once removed from the ground, became a 'moveable' of the church and, as such, legally vested in the churchwardens. He also decided that the item was not a 'church treasure', as defined by the Court of Arches, and he was not therefore obliged to follow the advice of the appellate court to hold a hearing. (See Re Shipton Bellinger [2016] Fam 193, para. 23) The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The petition proposed various works to the church roof and other parts of the fabric. The only contentious item was the proposal to fix a safety rope in the spiral staircase of the tower. The church architect proposed a rope running down the outer radius of the staircase, because there was an electrical cable conduit running down the inner radius. The objector, on behalf of local bell ringers, objected to an outer rope, which would tend to make users walk towards the narrower part of the very narrow staircase. The Chancellor granted a faculty for a safety rope running down the inner radius, with fixing points at intervals, which would not force users towards the narrow part of the treads and would mean it would be less likely that people might grab the electrical conduit for support.

The Chancellor granted a faculty to permit the loan to the Chichester Cathedral Treasury of a figure of Christ, believed to have been part of a crucifix made in Limoges in the 13th century. The Chancellor had previously granted an interim faculty allowing the Archdeacon to remove the figure to a place of safety, following the theft of the figure and its subsequent recovery by the Police.

The 7th Baron Lord Carrington wished to introduce into the church, at the west end of the nave, two heraldic banners which had belonged to his late father, the 6th Baron Carrington. One banner was the late Lord Carrington’s banner as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG), and the other was his banner as a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG). As the late Lord Carrington had had a distinguished political career and made an outstanding contribution to the life of the nation, had lived in the village and was a patron of the church, the Chancellor decided that there were sufficiently good reasons to overcome the ordinary presumption against change to a church building and he therefore granted a faculty.

This was an appeal from a decision of the Land Registration Division of the Property Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal, which resulted from an application by the Incumbent and the Diocesan Board of Finance (the Respondents in the appeal) to register the title to the church. The church at Dalton was completed in 1837 and was conveyed to the Church Building Commissioners by Edward Collingwood as a chapel of ease for the parish of Newburn. The conveyance reserved to the donor the burial vault under the nave for the interment of the donor and his heirs. The last interment of a member of the Collingwood family was in 1940. By a pastoral scheme made in 2004, the church was declared redundant.  Before the scheme, the church was always open, but after the scheme it was kept locked. The issue was whether the respondents (or either of them) had made out a claim to the vault based on adverse possession. The  decision of the Upper Tier Tribunal was that the respondents could not claim title to the vault by adverse possession.

Faculty granted for a new audio-visual system for a Grade I church, to include two monitor screens mounted on mobile trollies; two monitors screens mounted on poles; and three monitor screens mounted on the walls.

The Parochial Church Council applied for a faculty to authorise the sale of a helmet which, since the early 17th century had hung over the tomb of the first Duke of Bedford. The Chancellor determined that he was unable to grant a faculty, for two reasons. Firstly, the PCC had no title to the helmet, as it belonged in law to the descendants of the first Duke of Bedford. Secondly, section 3 of the Faculty Jurisdiction Measure 1964 provides: "A Court may grant a Faculty to which this section applies (1) although the owner of the monument withholds his consent thereto or cannot be found after reasonable efforts to find him have been made... (3) no faculty to which this section applies shall be granted if the owner of the monument in question withholds his consent thereto, but satisfies the court that he is within a reasonable time willing and able to remove the monument … and to exercise such works as the Court may require to repair any damage to the fabric". In this case there was no evidence at the hearing as to who was or were the heir or heirs at law, and no evidence as to whether they gave or withheld their consent.

The proposal was to sell to the British Museum a valuable fifteenth century silver cup which had been used as a chalice, but which in recent years had been on loan to the Museum. There was one party opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty permitting the sale of the cup on condition that it would be sold only to the British Museum. He directed that a photographic record of the cup be made, along with a short history and that it should be displayed in the church. He also directed as a condition of the faculty that a copy of the cup be made for liturgical use.

Faculty granted for the installation of solar panels on the south side of the roof of an unlisted church built in 1940 in the Arts & Crafts style.

There was an application for a confirmatory faculty in respect of an illuminated cross placed on the western face of the church tower two years previously, under an Archdeacon's Licence for Temporary Reordering (a procedure which the Chancellor considered inappropriate). The Chancellor decided to grant a faculty for a term of 5 years, subject to consent being obtained under the Advertising Regulations, and subject to the cross being illuminated on not more that 28 days in each calendar year, with leave to apply for further extensions of 5 years, without the need for a further faculty petition.