Neutral Citations

On 23 December 2015, the Dean of Arches issued a Practice Note requesting Diocesan Registrars to allocate a neutral citation to each Consistory Court judgment. A revised version of the original Practice Note was issued on 27 April 2016. Both Practice Notes can be downloading by clicking on these links:
Practice Note No. 1 of 2015
Practice Note No. 1 of 2016
Neutral citations are only being applied to judgments from 1 January 2016. Prior to that date, the ELA's own method of citation was used.

Those submitting judgments should not that a neutral citation number should appear in the top left corner of a judgment, in the format set out in Practice Note 1 above.

Judgments are as supplied by the relevant Diocesan Registries, but we cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent minor amendments which have not been communicated to us. Anyone wishing to quote from a judgment should check with the relevant Diocesan or Provincial Registrar that the version on this web site is the final version.

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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

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Re Mitcham Road Cemetery Croydon [2021] ECC Swk 5

The petitioner's daughter died, whilst still a child, in 2011. The petitioner and her husband had wanted a triple depth grave for their only child and themselves, but a triple depth grave was not possible because of the ground conditions The petitioner's husband died in 2020 and was buried in a grave about 400 yards away in the same cemetery. The petitioner now wished to have the remains of her daughter exhumed and reinterred in her husband's grave, next to which the petitioner had already reserved a grave for herself. The Chancellor decided that "exceptional circumstances justifying exhumation do exist in this case. The establishment of what is in effect a family grave will be expressive of family unity, which should be encouraged."

Re St. John Eltham [2021] ECC Swk 4

Eltham churchyard was closed by Order in Council. The cremated remains of the petitioner's father had been interred near the west end of the church in 1961 and the interment was marked by a memorial stone measuring 18 inches by 12 inches. In 1989, the incumbent agreed with the petitioner and her mother, that their ashes could in due time be interred next to the ashes of the petitioner's father, though there was only room for one more commemoration on the memorial. The petitioner's mother died in 2020 and her cremated remains were interred under her husband's memorial stone. The petitioner sought a faculty, (1) to secure the arrangement agreed with the incumbent in 1989, so that her own cremated remains could in due time be buried next to those of her parents, (2) to permit a further stone next to the memorial to her parents; and (3) to replace the existing stone, which had weathered badly. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. James Islington [2021] ECC Lon 1

The proposal was to rebuild the organ as a hybrid pipe/electronic instrument, involving its pipework being turned to face the nave, with associated structural alterations. There were two parties opponent, plus other objectors. The objections included allegations of irregularity in the tendering process, and questions as to whether the extent and cost of the project was excessive. The Chancellor concluded that the PCC was entitled to choose the proposal it had selected to resolve the longstanding problems with the organ, and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Paul Covent Garden [2021] ECC Lon 2

The petition proposed replacing the existing pew benches with new moveable pew benches by the ecclesiastical furniture designer Luke Hughes, and retaining the best examples of the current pews by their removal to the gallery. Historic England and the Victorian Society submitted objections, but did not become parties opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty. The pews introduced following the rebuilding of the church (known as "the Actors' Church") in 1795-6 had been adapted in a reordering in 1871-2, and were now in a very poor state of repair. The Chancellor considered that any harm to the architectural interest of the church would be low and the harm to the historical interest would be moderate. He found that the petitioners had made a convincing case for the proposals. The church would benefit from the introduction of moveable pew benches, which would provide improved seating and allow greater use of the church for services, events, concerts and commercial hiring.

Re St. Luke Lodge Moor [2021] ECC She 3

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the extension of the church (which was built in 1966 and is unlisted) and internal reordering, in order to provide more worship space and space for meetings; to provide a café/drop-in style meeting place; and to alter the appearance of the exterior to create a more attractive and welcoming entrance.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Olney [2021] ECC Oxf 2

The Rector and Churchwardens wished to create an educational area in the east end of the south aisle of the church dedicated to the life and work of the Reverend John Newton (1725-1807) and to introduce into the church an informative display. (John Newton was a reformed slave ship captain, who was the curate-in-charge of the church from 1764 to 1780 and the author of the hymn 'Amazing Grace'.) The work would involve the removal of four pews, and the seat from a fifth pew. Notwithstanding the current sensitivity relating to the display in public places of things relating to the slave trade, the Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the display would "recognise the vital contributions made to the abolition of the vile trade in human flesh by African and other global majority heritage writers and abolitionists, women and working class reformers, rather than simply focusing upon the work of prominent, white, upper and middle class male abolitionists ..."

Re St. Thomas & St. Luke Dudley [2021] ECC Wor 2

The proposed works comprised the installation of a new heating system; the installation of an additional toilet; and the reconfiguring of part of the building used as the ‘Youth Room’. (The church is a "resourcing church", with special funding from the Church Commissioners’ Strategic Development Fund for the purpose of growing the congregation to around 250 people and generating energy and resources for further church-planting elsewhere in the diocese.) Bearing in mind the Church of England's commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030, the Chancellor was concerned about the proposal to install a new gas-fired heating system. However, an expert report indicated that the proposed new system should reduce overall gas usage by 35%. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to a condition that gas supplied under a green tariff should be used where possible.

Re Lambeth Cemetery Tooting [2021] ECC Swk 3

The petitioner's late father, a Muslim, had been buried in a grave in part of the cemetery consecrated for burials according to the rites of the Church of England. It was unclear whether this had been pointed out to the family at the time of death (as none of the cemetery staff were in post when the father was buried), but probably not. Also, the burial had been limited to single depth, because of the ground conditions. The petitioner's mother, who had recently died, had been buried in an unconsecrated part of the cemetery. The petitioner stated that it had been the wish of his parents to be buried together. It had not been possible to bury the petitioner's mother in the same grave as her husband (even disregarding the fact that the grave was consecrated. The Chancellor decided that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty to enable exhumation of the petitioner's father's remains, for reinterment in the unconsecrated grave where his mother was buried.

Re Mitcham Road Cemetery Croydon [2021] ECC Swk 1

The petitioners applied for the temporary exhumation of the cremated remains of their brother from their father's grave, so that their mother could be buried in the same grave and the brother's cremated remains then returned to the grave. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St Mary Barnetby le Wold [2021] ECC Lin 1

A married couple had been buried in graves alongside each other. Following the second interment (of the wife), the petitioners wished to move the memorial at the head of the husband's grave to mid-way between the two graves, to add a further inscription in gold letters on the polished black granite memorial and to add side panels bearing coloured rose designs. As there were many instances of memorials outside the churchyards regulations in the churchyard, including examples of memorials erected between adjacent graves, and in view of the fact that the churchyard would shortly need to be closed for further burials, the Chancellor granted a faculty, but excluded permission for the decorative side panels.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Barnby Dun [2021] ECC She 2

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of his late wife, who died in 2013, exhumed from the churchyard at Barnby Dun, in South Yorkshire, and re-interred in Littlehampton Cemetery, in West Sussex. The petitioner and his two sons lived in West Sussex, and considered it to have been a mistake for the deceased's remains to have been buried in Barnby Dun, close to the remains of her parents. Also, one of the petitioner's sons, who was very close to his mother, suffered from severe physical disabilities, and was unable to visit his mother's grave 250 miles away without support. Following the test for exceptionality suggested by the Chancery Court of York in Re Christ Church Alsager [1998] 3 WLR 1394 - "Is there a good and proper reason for exhumation, that reason being likely to be regarded as acceptable by right thinking members of the Church at large?" - the Chancellor decided that this was an exceptional case which justified the grant of a faculty for exhumation.

Re Wetheral Cemetery [2020] ECC Car 2

The petitioner sought a faculty for the exhumation of the remains of the person buried in plot C71 in Wetheral Cemetery ("the deceased"), as the petitioner had purchased plot C71 many years earlier, next to plots reserved for members of her family. There were two pairs of family plots either side of a path. The deceased had reserved plot C77, but unfortunately at the time of his burial, the burial authority's record reading C77 was misread as C71. The deceased's family strongly objected to the exhumation. The burial authority accepted that they had made a mistake and offered the petitioner a choice of plots next to the remaining three family plots. The Deputy Chancellor determined not to grant a faculty. He considered the views of the deceased's family as significant, that the delay in petitioning was also a factor, and he also attached weight to the offer by the burial authority of alternative plots next to the other family plots.

Re William Nooney deceased [2020] ECC Bri 3

The petitioner's husband, a Roman Catholic, had wanted to be buried at Avonview Cemetery, where other family members were buried, but when he died in 1995 no further burials were being allowed at Avonview Cemetery. He was buried at Filton Cemetery in a grave chosen or accepted by the funeral directors. In 2018 burials were resumed at Avonview Cemetery, due to paths and previously unused land being set aside for burials. The petitioner became aware that the area of Filton Cemetery where her husband was buried was consecrated in accordance with the rites of the Church of England. She therefore wished to have his remains exhumed and reinterred at Avonview Cemetery. The Chancellor determined that there had been a mistake by the funeral directors in organising the interment in the Anglican area of Filton Cemetery, which would amount to exceptional circumstances justifying exhumation, as identified in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] 3 WLR 603. The funeral directors were ordered to pay the costs of the petition.

Re West Malling Abbey [2021] ECC Roc 1

The petition related to replacement lighting, the introduction of cable housing at high level, redecoration and investigations into the clerestory glazing of the 1960s Grade II* church. The Twentieth Century Society, Historeric England and the Diocesan Advisory Committee had reservations about replacing the original lighting globes in the sanctuary. The Chancellor was not satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for removing the globes, and so he directed the grant of a faculty only for the other items in the petition.

Re St. Mary Beverley [2021] ECC Yor 2

The petition related to exterior stonework repairs to the south nave clerestory of the church, involving the replacement of one missing carved grotesque and eight eroded label stops. The theme for the carvings was to be pioneering women, the criteria for selection being: local connection, a weighting towards maths, the sciences, and engineering and also to include BAME representation within the group. The Chancellor considered that it was appropriate to allow the choices that had been made to represent women who had played a significant role in the advancement of science and human knowledge. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re All Saints Hawton [2021] ECC S&N 3

The proposal was to augment the ring of eight bells to ten. There were four letters of objection. Dealing with the objections, the Chancellor determined that there were no grounds for suggesting that the augmentation would put additional stress on the tower; there had been no failure by the Parochial Church Council to communicate the proposals to parishioners; and financial matters were for the Parochial Church Council to decide. He was satisfied that the proposal was appropriate and desirable and he granted a faculty.

St. Mary of the Purification Blidworth [2021] ECC S&N 2

In 2000 a churchyard closing order had been made by Order in Council. Notwithstanding the Order, burials of coffins and cremated remains had continued until 2019. There was a further Order in 2019 modifying the original Order. The upshot of the two Orders was that no further burials were allowed except (i) in an unused grave reserved by faculty; (ii) in an existing vault or walled grave; or (iii) in the existing grave of a family member. The judgment contains a detailed discussion concerning rights of burial and also as to whether both the original churchyard and the large churchyard extension had both been closed by the closing order, or just the extension. The Chancellor had before him four faculty applications for the interment of ashes in existing graves of relatives in the churchyard extension, which he was satisfied was covered by the closing order (as amended). He determined that the petitions were unnecessary, because the amending closing order allowed interments in existing family graves. He therefore dismissed the petitions.

Re Peel Cemetery [2020] EC Sodor 2

The petitioner wished to exhume the remains of her mother-in-law ("the deceased") from Peel Cemetery and reinter them in a private chapel called The Chantry, at Crogga, where the remains of the deceased's son and the petitioner's husband were laid. The petitioner's husband was a prominent member of the Roman Catholic community in the island. The Vicar General decided that this was an appropriate exceptional circumstance justifying a departure from the principle of permanence of burial as expressed in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299. He therefore granted a faculty. However, under Isle of Man law remains could be exhumed and reburied only if moved from one piece of consecrated land to another piece of consecrated land (that is land consecrated according to the Anglican tradition), but the Chantry was not so consecrated. Therefore, in addition to the faculty, the petitioner would need to obtain the consent of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.

Re St. Luke Southport [2020] ECC Liv 2

A faculty was sought for the installation of glazed timber screening to the south side transept chapel; disabled access to the chapel; and a new heating system; as well as a confirmatory faculty for the installation of a Frank Bodley reredos above the altar, which had been donated from a redundant church in Liverpool. The Chancellor granted a faculty. He was satisfied that the screening of the chapel, whilst constituting some modest harm to the building, would not cause a significant impact, and the work would be reversible in the future, if the need arose. Also, any harm would be outweighed by the benefit of having a useful small worship or meeting space which was economic to heat.

Re St. Thomas Ashton-in-Makerfield [2020] ECC Liv 1

Proposals for reordering included: replacement flooring; replacement heating scheme and underfloor heating; replacement of nave pews with chairs; removal of the side chapel platform and communion rail; construction of a dais or platform with a removable communion rail; removal of the pulpit and the choir stalls; provision of a ramped access to the chancel and the vestry; replacement of the audio-visual installation. There were several objections, principally to the removal of the pulpit and choir stalls in the chancel. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners have provided compelling evidence of need to justify the grant of a faculty for the major reordering.

Re Iris Dean Deceased [2021] ECC Man 1

Iris Dean ("the Deceased"), before her death in 2010, expressed a wish to have her ashes interred in grave A12 in Blackley Cemetery, where her parents, brother and sister were interred. When she died, her husband, who did not wish to be buried in the same grave as his in-laws, purchased grave A136, and had the Deceased ashes interred in it, with a view to his own ashes being interred there in due time. Before he died in 2020, the deceased decided that he did not wish to be cremated, but to be buried with his parents in a churchyard at Droylsden, where his ashes were in fact subsequently interred. The Deceased's daughter now applied for a faculty to exhume her mother's ashes from grave A136 and reinter them in the family grave, A12. The Chancellor determined to treat this as a case of mistake in not burying the Deceased in accordance with her wishes and that it would be unconscionable not to allow the Deceased's ashes to be buried in her chosen final resting place, the family grave.

Re St. Peter Titchfield [2021] ECC Por 2

The Parochial Church Council and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu sought permission to re-establish a secure and permanent access to the vault beneath the Southampton Chapel in the church, to establish the condition of the substructure of the chapel and in particular the area supporting the Southampton Memorial in the Chapel, which commemorates the lives of members of the Wriothesley/Southampton family, many of whom were interred in the vault in the 16th-18th centuries. There had been some settlement of the monument in 1959. The vault formerly had two accesses, an external one, bricked up in 1899, and an access from inside the chapel, sealed up in the 1950s. Although the Church Buildings Council had concerns about the possible disturbance of human remains, the Chancellor was satisfied that the architect and others had made a good case for installing a new access from the chapel, to assist in monitoring the condition of the vault and chapel. He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Clement Terrington St. Clement [2020] ECC Ely 3

The Chancellor considered four applications for faculties to reserve graves in the churchyard. The Chancellor was concerned that there were very few grave spaces left unoccupied, and that the Parochial Church Council had already applied for closure of the churchyard in six months time, which he considered premature. After discussing the approach of other Chancellors to applications for the reservation of graves, the Chancellor decided to grant reservations in two of the present applications, where the applicants were in their 60s and 70s, they were longstanding residents, and they had strong connections with the church. But he refused the other two applications, where the applicants were in their 30s and 40s, did not live in the parish and had little connection with the church. The Chancellor did not consider that having a relative buried in the churchyard was of itself a sufficient reason to grant a faculty to reserve a grave.

Re St. Andrew Haughton-le-Skerne [2021] ECC Dur 3

A horizontal memorial ledger was introduced without permission into an area of the churchyard set aside for cremated remains. Fixed to the ledger was an enamelled photograph of the deceased, a former soldier, whose ashes were interred in the grave. The Chancellor had previously declined a request for a ledger stone. In January 2021 the Chancellor granted a faculty authorising its removal. The deceased's mother applied for the Chancellor's decision to be set aside on the grounds that there was discrimination against the family, there being other similar memorials in the churchyard. The Chancellor rejected the mother's application. By visiting the churchyard, the Chancellor satisfied himself that there was no other ledger stone in the area for cremated remains. Furthermore, it was inappropriate to allow an enamelled photograph to be affixed to a memorial, as there was 'a risk that others may follow suit, with an incremental detrimental effect on the whole character of the churchyard'.

Re Burnley Cemetery [2021] ECC Bla 2

The petitioner wished to exhume the cremated remains of her husband (who had died in 2015) from Burnley Cemetery, with a view to reinterring them in a family grave, which the family was in the process of purchasing at a cemetery in Morecombe, and which the petitioner intended to be her own final resting place. The petitioner's family lived at Morecombe. The Chancellor determined that the petitioner had not established special circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty for exhumation: " ... the time spent, and the inconvenience and difficulties experienced, in travelling from Morecambe to Burnley, even at the age of 82, do not amount to special circumstances such as to justify the exhumation."

Re St. John the Evangelist Donisthorpe [2021] ECC Lei 1

The Team Rector and Churchwardens sought a faculty for substantial internal reordering, to create a major transformation of the church's interior, in order to further its mission and community use. Almost half of the judgment deals with the proposal to remove the existing pews and replace them with wooden chairs with padded seats and backs. Other major items considered in detail are the removal of the pulpit, the replacement of the pipe organ with an electronic organ, and the re-siting of the font. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made out a good case for all the proposals and granted a faculty.

Re St. John the Evangelist Bourne End [2021] ECC StA 2

The petitioners wished to separate the altar from the reredos, modify it, so that it would be free-standing, and move it away from the east end, to enable the priest to celebrate facing west; to relocate the reredos to the link between the church and the church hall ; and to renovate an old table to become a credence table. The Victorian Society objected to the separation of the reredos and altar and proposed re-siting of the reredos. The Church Buildings Council objected to the reredos being placed to the link to the hall. The Chancellor considered that there was a good case for moving the altar to allow west-facing celebration, and also safety benefits for the restricted space in the east end of this small church; also the scheme would allow the retention, rather than disposal, of the reredos. There would also be the benefit of exposing the original stained glass window hidden by the reredos. The Chancellor therefore granted a faculty.

Re Christ Church Fulwood [2021] ECC She 1

This judgment deals with the third stage of an extensive series of works of reordering of the church, the earlier stages having been dealt with in two previous judgments. (See Re Christ Church Fulwood [2017] ECC She 6 and Re Christ Church Fulwood [2018] ECC She 4) The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Cuthbert Thetford [2021] ECC Nor 1

The Parochial Church Council wished to sell some items of Georgian silver, some of which were stored in Norwich Museum and some in Norwich Cathedral Treasury. The church had inherited the items ineeh 1970s from two nearby churches, which had been closed. The silver had been valued at £3000 to £4700 (less sale commission). The PCC wished to use the proceeds of sale towards the cost of a new lighting scheme for the church, which would cost over £8000. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty, as he considered that the petitioners had not established a good reason for the sale. The silver had significance for Thetford and the petitioners had not shown any pressing financial emergency: "I am concerned that it is a case of wanting to use the financial worth of this silver for ‘something’, rather than any compelling financial need that demands the sacrifice of a church treasure."

Re St. Andrew Leyland [2021] ECC Bla 1

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of her husband exhumed from the churchyard at Leyland and reinterred in a family grave in the churchyard at Wrea Green containing four members of the family, which had been her husband's wish. But at the time of her husband's death, the petitioner, who had suffered from leukaemia for some time and was now in hospital, and had her husband's remains interred at Leyland, whilst she 'was in shock (he died suddenly) and therefore did not act rationally or upon his wishes'. She wished her cremated remains in due course to be buried in the family grave together with the cremated remains of her husband. The Chancellor considered that this was a case where there were exceptional circumstances to justify granting a faculty. Firstly, the reinterment would be into an existing family grave and, secondly, there had been a mistake by the petitioner in her shock and grief, in that her husband had expressed a wish to be buried in the family grave at Wrea Green, and she now wished for corrective action to be taken.<?p>

Re St. Philip Norton [2020] ECC B&W 1

The proposal was to replace the main block of nave pews with chairs. The petitioners wished to create a more flexible space for church and community use. The pews were part of a refurbishment by the architect George Gilbert Scott in the mid-nineteenth century. The Victorian Society and Historic England submitted written objections to removal of the pews. Bearing in mind that access to "The Hub" (which was installed under faculty in 2004, to provide a servery, a lavatory, a vestry and a meeting room in the north-west corner of the church) was difficult, and moving The Hub was not viable, the Chancellor considered that the removal of the pews appeared to be a realistic way of freeing up space, in order to promote worship and mission; and the harm to the church by the loss of the pews would be outweighed by the benefits. He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Alban Frant [2021] ECC Chi 4

The petitioner wished to place on his wife's grave a cast iron memorial, which included, as part of the design, a cluster of five-pointed stars, as his wife's name was Stella. The Parochial Church Council was opposed to this type of memorial on the basis that it would not be in keeping with the stone memorials in the churchyard and it would set a precedent. The Diocesan Advisory Committee and the Church Buildings Council had no objections to the design. The Chancellor considered that the memorial would be fitting and appropriate. There was a tradition of cast iron headstones in the area, though not in this particular churchyard. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to a condition that the stars should not be pierced through the memorial, but that the stars and the lettering should be raised. This was for health and safety reasons, lest children might injure themselves on the sharp points of pierced stars.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul West Wittering [2021] ECC Chi 3

There was an application for a faculty to remove five notice boards from the church porch and replace them with free-standing notice boards at the back of the church; also the disposal of some pews, the shortening of two pews, and the permanent relocation of other pews allowed under an Archdeacon's Licence for temporary reordering. The Chancellor, applying the guidance in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2013], determined that the degree of harm to the church would not be significant, and that the public benefit of the works would outweigh any harm. He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary East Leake [2021] ECC S&N 1

In 1980, the petitioner's late father's ashes were interred in a cemetery in Loughborough. In 1985, the ashes were exhumed and reinterred in the churchyard at East Leake. The petitioner now wished to have his father's ashes re-exhumed and reinterred in another part of the churchyard, with the ashes of the petitioner's mother, who had recently died. The Chancellor determined that there were exceptional factors to justify the grant of a faculty for exhumation. The canopy of a cypress tree had grown over the grave, leaving only one metre clearance above the grave; the area around the grave was overgrown; and the grave was likely to be affected by the tree's roots.

Re St. Chad Far Headingley [2021] ECC Lee 3

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial to her two children, who had died, aged 6 and 9, from Batten disease. When the first child had died, a memorial which was outside the churchyards regulations had been installed without permission. Following the death of the second child, the petitioner sought approval of a new memorial design, with an image of Winnie-the-Pooh at the top and the inscription including phrases from other children's literature - “To infinity and beyond” and “We love you to the moon and back”. The Chancellor granted a faculty. He considered that the petitioner had made out a compelling case and that there were exceptional pastoral reasons for approving the design, to give comfort and solace to the petitioner and her family.

Re St. Andrew Great Durnford [2021] ECC Sal 3

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.

Re St. Thomas a Becket & St. Thomas the Apostle Heptonstall [2021] ECC Lee 2

The petitioner, who lived in Oxfordshire, wished to reserve a grave in the churchyard at Heptonstall in West Yorkshire, due to "her affection for literature and the proximity of the grave of Sylvia Plath". The priest-in-charge and Parochial Church Council had no objections to the reservation. There were in excess of 450 grave spaces available, and burials averaged five per year. After a discussion of the principles which a Chancellor should consider when deciding whether to exercise a discretion to grant a faculty to someone who had no legal right to be buried in a churchyard, the Chancellor determined that in this case there was no reason to refuse a faculty.

Re St. Peter ad Vincula Hampton Lucy [2021] ECC Cov 3

The petitioner, a churchwarden, sought a confirmatory faculty for the installation on the church tower of radio internet repeater equipment to provide internet access within the Church without the need for the installation of a telephone line. A neighbour had initially been concerned about the impact of the equipment on the health of himself and his family and he also raised concerns about safe access for maintenance of the equipment. However, the Chancellor was satisfied that the neighbour's concerns had been largely assuaged and that the impact of the installed equipment upon the historical significance of the listed Church building would be negligible. He therefore granted a confirmatory faculty.

Re All Saints Dilhorne [2021] ECC Lic 1

The petitioner wished to erect on the grave of his late wife a red granite memorial with a polished face and gold lettering. The priest-in-charge declined to approve the memorial on the grounds that gold lettering was not permissible and that the size and colour of the memorial would not be in keeping with the other memorials in the churchyard. The Chancellor determined that it would be unreasonable to refuse a faculty for the memorial, as the use of gold lettering was widespread in the churchyard; also, there was a large number of polished granite stones which, though mostly black, did include a number of red granite stones, including a red granite stone on the grave next to the grave of the petitioner's wife.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Podington [2021] ECC StA 1

The petitioners applied for a confirmatory faculty in respect of a memorial placed in the churchyard without permission. The Chancellor refused to grant a confirmatory faculty and granted a faculty for its removal by the team Vicar and churchwardens on the grounds that: (1) the installation without authority was a trespass; (2) the type of stone and colour of lettering were not authorised by the churchyards regulations; (3) part of the inscription (which suggested that a particular cancer treatment was responsible for the death of the person commemorated) was inappropriate; (4) there were concerns for safety, as the memorial was not installed by a member of the National Association of Memorial Masons; and (5) 'Allowing the memorial to remain fails to address the unfairness to others who correctly obtain appropriate authority and follow the Regulations'.

Re St. John the Baptist Bentham [2021] ECC Lee 1

The proposals included an extension to the south tower of the church, to include toilets, a plant room and storage; reordering, including glazed porch doors, removal of a kitchenette and a redundant organ, new heating, the carpeting of the nave and replacement of the pews with chairs. The Chancellor granted a faculty. Whilst he would normally be disinclined to approve carpet, in the present case it would cover the existing mixed floor finishes and provide 'a uniform homogenous flooring where currently it is patchy'.

Re St. Mary Oxted [2021] ECC Swk 1

The Chancellor granted an interim faculty for a new church boiler, in view of the urgent need to replace the old boiler. The Chancellor had reservations about approving a gas-fired boiler, bearing in mind the policy of the Church of England to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. However, a new gas-fired boiler would have an estimated life of 15 years, at the expiration of which period new carbon neutral options may be available and affordable. The evidence was that the current annual cost of running an electric boiler would be over four times the annual cost of running a new gas-fired boiler.

Re St. Adamnan's Lonan [2021] EC Sodor 1

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.

Re St. Bartholomew Maresfield [2021] ECC Chi 2

The Chancellor granted a faculty for reordering in the Grade I listed church, in order to provide toilet and kitchen facilities, screening off of the north transept and the provision of storage. The Chancellor was satisfied that the degree of harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest would not be substantial and the public benefit of the works would outweigh any harm. Also, the changes would be entirely reversible, with negligible impact on the fabric.

Re St. Margaret Rottingdean [2021] ECC Chi 1

In 2020, the Chancellor gave a judgment concerning the temporary removal of two memorials from the churchyard. There had been complaints that the inscription on each memorial contained the same allegedly offensive or derogatory word. (See Re St. Margaret Rottingdean [2020] ECC Chi 4) In the present case, the vicar and churchwardens applied for a faculty to authorise the re-cutting of the stones, so as to omit the offensive word from the inscriptions, and the return of the stones to the churchyard. The families of those commemorated by the stones supported the application. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re Holy Cross Woodchurch [2020] ECC Chr 1

The petitioners wished to install in the churchyard a memorial which was outside the churchyards regulations. It is described in the judgment as "of lawn design, with kerbstones, to be in black granite and with the addition, within the kerbs, of a Sadshalil Grey ‘pathway to heaven’ – a curved, raised area running the length of the grave from its foot to the headstone itself". Letters of objection were received from the Rector, churchwardens, and some members of the Parochial Church Council. The petitioners argued that a number of memorials with kerbs had been introduced in the past, notwithstanding the regulations. The Chancellor, accepting the parish's desire to 'draw a line' and enforce the regulations, declined to approve the proposed memorial.

Re All Saints Ockbrook [2021] ECC Der 1

The petition proposed an extensive reordering of the church, to facilitate greater use for the community, including: new kitchen and toilets; a disabled access ramp; a second fire exit; replacing pews with chairs; disposal of the pulpit; moving the font; new heating and lighting; and works to the western gallery. The Chancellor declined to grant a faculty for the removal of the pulpit, on the basis that disposing of the pulpit would constitute serious harm to the interior of the church, but the public benefit, if any, would be small. He also declined to grant a faculty for new lighting in the absence of detailed plans and designs. But he granted a faculty for all the other items, and included a condition (inter alia) that the replacement chairs, to be subject to approval by the Diocesan Advisory Committee, should not be upholstered.

Re St. Thomas the Martyr Newcastle upon Tyne [2021] ECC New 1

A major reordering was proposed in order to accommodate a huge increase in use of the church following its designation as new Resource Church. The proposed works included replacement of pews with chairs, creation of meeting rooms in the galleries, facilities for hospitality, and a baptistry for full immersion. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the works were necessary to meet the church's needs and support its mission, and that the needs outweighed the consequential loss of special architectural and/or historic interest that would necessarily follow.

Re St. Michael and All Angels Figheldean [2021] ECC Sal 1

In October 2020, it was noticed that a grave containing the remains of a local couple had been disturbed, suggesting an additional interment without lawful authority, namely, the interment of the ashes of the couple's son, who had taken his own life two years earlier following the breakdown of his marriage. The incumbent applied for exhumation of the cremated remains, as they had been unlawfully interred, and the deceased’s four siblings applied for custody of the remains, so that they could be interred in land where the deceased had wished his remains to be interred. The deceased’s widow denied that her husband's ashes had been interred in the grave, and refused to attend the hearing. On the basis of the evidence at the hearing, the Chancellor was satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the ashes interred were those of the deceased sibling and he granted a faculty for exhumation and for custody of the ashes to pass to the surviving siblings for reinterment.

Re Holy Trinity Hull [2021] ECC Yor 1

The petition proposed the construction of extensions to the south side of the Grade I church to house a new toilet block, a kitchen and a cafe with a grill-pattern design on the western elevation, opening on to the adjoining Trinity Square. The petition was unopposed. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) acted as the lead commentator for the amenity societies. They acceded to the principle of the extensions and concentrated their response on some technical and practical matters about which they offered observations and advice. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Andrew Haughton-le-Skerne [2021] ECC Dur 2

In October 2019, the Chancellor had granted a faculty for an upright memorial stone to mark the interment of cremated remains in an area of the churchyard set aside by faculty for cremated remains, notwithstanding that the specification for the memorial was not within the terms of the faculty setting aside the area or within the diocesan churchyard rules. The memorial was in memory of the petitioner's son, who had been a Royal Marine Commando. A year later a horizontal ledger stone, bearing an enamelled photograph, appeared next to the headstone. The incumbent tried without success to find out from the petitioner how the ledger stone had come to be installed, and so referred the matter, via the Registry, to the Chancellor. The Chancellor directed that the ledger stone should be removed.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Middleton-in-Teesdale [2021] ECC Dur 1

The associate minister and a churchwarden wished to remove from the churchyard two cedar trees, which were situated within 2 metres of the northern wall of a plant room, adjacent to the vestry. In recent years the trees have been causing problems, dropping a large amount of debris on the roof on the north side of the church, choking gutters and downpipes, and causing rainwater to cascade down the wall. The quinquennial inspection report had advised removal of the trees due to the rainwater issues and also damage caused by tree roots. A couple who lived in the parish submitted a letter of objection. The local authority had agreed to the two trees being removed (the churchyard being in a conservation area), subject to two replacement trees being planted in the churchyard. The Chancellor found that there was a convincing case for the removal of the trees and granted a faculty.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Newport Pagnell [2020] ECC Oxf 8

The petitioners wished to install in the church a custom-built electronic organ and twelve speaker cabinets and to 'mothball' the existing pipe organ. There were four objectors, two of whom became parties opponent, but subsequently withdrew. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject (inter alia) to a condition that the parish should maintain, insure and use its best endeavours to keep the pipe organ playable for as long as the electronic organ remains in the church. The judgment cites numerous other judgments relating to the replacement of a pipe organ with an electronic organ, and discusses the factors which should and should not be taken into account in reaching a decision.

Re St. Edmund Kessingland [2020] ECC Nor 4

The petitioners, the rector and churchwardens, removed from the churchyard personal mementoes which had been placed on graves, and which the churchyards regulations did not allow. They then gave notice of removal, where possible advising the families concerned as to where they could collect the relevant items. The petitioners subsequently applied for a faculty for the disposal of the items not collected. There were two objectors, who became parties opponent, around 40 other written objections, and there was an online petition opposing the faculty. The Chancellor decided that the petitioners were entitled to remove the items, as required by the churchyards regulations, and that a faculty was needed for their disposal. The Chancellor therefore confirmed an earlier decision to grant a faculty, subject to there being no objections.

Re St. Leonard Thrybergh [2020] ECC She 3

The churchwardens wished to remove from the churchyard a headstone placed on a grave after permission was refused by the Area Dean. The owner of the memorial (himself a stonemason) claimed that he did not receive notice of refusal until after the memorial had been installed. The memorial was of black or very dark grey polished stone and comprised an upright stone with kerbs and a ledger stone covering the grave. The Chancellor decided that, if the owner of the memorial had gone about things correctly, she would have authorised the stone. Therefore she dimissed the petition for its removal, but required the ownner of the memorial to pay the costs of the proceedings.

Re St. John Washborough [2020] ECC Lin 4

A couple had planned to be buried in a double grave. The husband died in 2006 and was duly buried in the grave. His wife died in 2020, but a trial dig two weeks before the planned funeral date made it clear that the husband's coffin had not been buried sufficiently deep to allow the burial of a second coffin with enough earth above it. The undertakers therefore applied for a faculty to authorise the exhumation of the husband's coffin, to enable the grave to be dug deeper, in order to accommodate both coffins at sufficient depth. The Chancellor found that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the granting of a faculty, due to a mistake by the undertakers when the grave was originally dug in 2006.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Buckingham [2020] ECC Oxf 7

The rector and churchwardens applied for a faculty to authorise improvements to the Lady Chapel, in order to create more space and light. This involved removing the large altar, riddle posts and canopy, which took up a quarter of the floor space, and replacing them with a smaller altar; reducing the panelling which was blocking light from the windows; and reinstating the original stained glass window. The Chancellor was satisfied that the works would improve the appearance of the Chapel, and make it lighter and more welcoming, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Helen Lea [2020] ECC Lin 3

A faculty was sought for the removal of the existing 19th century glass quarries in the west window of the church, in order to incorporate a new stained glass window in memory of members of the Marshall family, who had close links with the church and were associated with the local engineering company Marshall & Sons & Co. The design incorporated a Marshall traction engine ploughing through a field and the design of a cross in the ploughed furrows. The Chancellor decided that the design of the window was appropriate in the context of the Marshall family's work and support for the church, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Farningham [2019] ECC Roc 3

The petitioner wished to erect in the churchyard a memorial to her son, who had been murdered. The memorial proposed comprised an upright stone five feet tall and bearing an open book motif. The stone was to be set on a foundation and plinth measuring seven feet by three feet by four inches. The Chancellor decided that in the circumstances of this particular case the upright memorial would be acceptable, but not the large plinth. The Chancellor therefore granted a faculty for the upright stone only, including a condition that the petitioner should remove a covered bench which she had placed without permission near the grave.

Re St. Mary Penwortham [2020] ECC Bla 2

The petitioners wished to carry out works of repair to the parapet of the tower, by re-bedding masonry and laying new lead, and also repairs to the west window, which had suffered heavy erosion. There were no objections to the work on the parapet, but the Society for the Protection of Ancent Buiildings objected to the proposed work to the west window, saying that the amount of the proposed replacement stonework was excessive and without justification. The Chancellor took the view that the petitioners had established that far-reaching repairs were needed to the window and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re Holy Trinity Hurstpierpoint [2020] ECC Chi 7

The petition proposed various items of reordering, including the replacement of pews with chairs, audio-visual facilities and a frameless glass door. The Victorian Society became a party opponent, objecting to the removal of pews from the nave. The Chancellor accepted the view of Counsel for the Society that the removal of the pews would result in serious harm to the significance of the church, and that therefore the need for change would have to be exceptional. However, the Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had set out a convincing case for the changes, and he therefore directed the issue of a faculty including, inter alia, a condition that a scheme should be prepared for adjustment and reuse of some of the pews in the church transepts.

Re St. Mark Mitcham [2020] ECC Swk 5

The vicar and churchwardens sought permission to replace the existing gas fuelled heating system with a new one, including a new boiler, pipework, radiators and controls in the unlisted, twentieth century church. The Chancellor granted a faculty. The judgment contains some comments by the Chancellor about the need for churches to work towards carbon neutrality.

Re St. James Buxworth [2020] ECC Der 5

The petition sought approval for the removal of eleven pews from the back of the church (leaving five rows at the front) and their replacement with fifty metal, upholstered chairs and a number of tables with folding legs. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the pews (or so many of them) and the replacement chairs. The Chancellor decided to permit the removal of only seven pew benches and the introduction of only 30 chairs and eight tables, the design of the chairs to be agreed with the Diocesan Advisory Committee and, in default of such agreement, by the Chancellor.

Re St. Mark Winshill [2020] ECC Der 4

The petitioner sought a faculty to authorise the exhumation of the cremated remains of his father from the churchyard and reinterment in the cremated remains section of a nearby cemetery. The reason given was that the deceased's wife had died recently and she had wanted her cremated remains to be interred in the cemetery. The petitioner wished to unite the cremated remains of his father with the cremated remains of his mother in the same grave. In the light of the guidance in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, the Deputy Chancellor determined that there were no exceptional reasons to justify the grant of a faculty for the exhumation of the deceased’s remains.

Re St. Mary Doddington [2020] ECC Ely 2

The petitioner wished to reserve a grave space in the churchyard next to the grave of her father. Several of her relatives were buried in the churchyard. The petitioner did not live in the parish, but in another parish in the same benefice, and she was not on the church electoral roll. The Parochial Church Council (PCC) had had a policy for at least 15 years of not supporting applications for the reservation of graves, as a result of which several letters of objection from parishioners were received in response to this application. The Chancellor determined that the PCC's policy was not unreasonable, and he could find no sufficient grounds to go against the policy. He therefore refused to grant a faculty.

Re St. Mary Woodkirk [2020] ECC Lee 3

The parish priest sought a direction from the Chancellor as to whether it was permissible, within the diocesan churchyards regulations, to allow a memorial inscription which included Chinese characters. The Chancellor determined that, notwithstanding the recent decision in Re St. Giles Exhall [2020] ECC Cov 1, that the Irish expression, 'In ár gcroíthe go deo', could only appear on a headstone if it was accompanied by its English translation, ‘in our hearts forever’, it was appropriate to include a phrase in a foreign language, without a translation, provided that the phrase did not offend Christian doctrine or teaching. The Chancellor therefore made a declaration giving appropriate guidance to the clergy of the diocese as an addendum to the churchyards regulations.

Re St. Andrew West Wratting [2020] ECC Ely 1

The proposal was to protect the external walls of the chancel and the east wall of the nave, which are composed of rubble with field and flint stones and earth consolidated mortar, which is very soft, by applying lime rendering. The evidence was that the church stonework had been rendered until some time during the 19th century. Three alternative thicknesses of rendering were proposed. There was disagreement amongst the interested parties and advisers over which option should be chosen, and so the decision was left to the Chancellor. The Chancellor granted a faculty to allow one of the thicker rendering options, subject to a condition that where the render met the stone of windows, doors, buttresses, etc., the render was to be feathered down to meet the stonework.

Re St. George Woolhope [2020] ECC Her 2

Part of the cremated remains of the petitioner's late partner had been interred in the churchyard and part in a grave reserved in the cemetery by the petitioner. The petitioner applied for permission to exhume the ashes in the churchyard and reinter them in the grave in the cemetery. The petitioner's estranged daughters had been under the impression that all the ashes had been interred in the churchyard, in accordance with the deceased's wishes. One of the daughters, on discovering what had happened, petitioned to have the deceased's ashes exhumed from the cemetery and reinterred in the churchyard. The petitioner thereupon sought an amendment of his petition to preserve the status quo. The Chancellor decided that the status quo should be maintained, there being no sufficient justification for allowing either exhumation.

Re St. Michael Michaelchurch Escley [2020] ECC Her 1

A faculty for the restoration of the church's five bells and the addition of a sanctus bell had been granted in 2014. Subsequently, a person referred to in the judgment as 'the Churchwarden' had arranged for a sixth bell to be installed without the authority of a faculty, having advised the bell founder that the sixth bell had been authorised. After the installation became known to the Registry, an application was made for a Faculty to amend the 2014 faculty to provide for the extra bell. Apart from the work having been done without faculty, the Deputy Chancellor found that a minute of the PCC produced by the Churchwarden and agreeing to the installation was 'unreliable'. The Chancellor also determined that the Vicar should take some blame for allowing the installation without faculty authorisation. The Chancellor therefore ordered the costs to be paid as to two-thirds by the Churchwarden and one-third by the Vicar.

Re St. Mary Lowgate, Hull [2020] ECC Yor 2

The petition proposed the following items of reordering in the church: removal of pews from the aisles and replacement of the pew platforms with flagstones; new heating system; renewal of the electrics; installation of new WCs; a new clergy vestry; a space for meetings and workshops; and an area for refreshments (later to become a full kitchen). The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Victorian Society had reservations about the proposals, the latter being particularly concerned about the removal of Victorian tiles from the aisles. However, the Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that there was a clear justification for the proposals and that any harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest would not be substantial.

Re St. Mary West Chiltington [2020] ECC Chi 6

The petitioner sought a confirmatory faculty to permit the retention of some kerbs and slate chippings which were introduced at the grave of his late father without the prior authority of a faculty. The petitioner later gave notice that he wished to withdraw his petition. In his judgment, the Chancellor granted leave to withdraw the petition and stated that, as a consequence, a retrospective faculty could not be granted; the kerbs and chippings should be removed to a secure place and, if the kerbs and chippings were not removed by the petitioner within 6 weeks, the churchwardens could remove them and dispose of them as they wished.

Re St. Michael the Archangel Emley [2020] ECC Lee 2

The incumbent and churchwardens sought a faculty to authorise the repair of a section of collapsed wall between the churchyard and two adjoining properties. One of the adjoining owners objected on the ground that work should not be done without work on the roots of some adjacent trees. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the wall needed repairing. If there was a tree preservation order in place, which required a further consent from the local authority for removal of the trees (should that be required), then a further faculty may be needed. The Chancellor expressed the hope that the parties could resolve their differences regarding the trees.

Re St. Andrew Ferring [2020] ECC Chi 5

The faculty petition proposed the installation of a new font bowl and also a new stained glass window, which would replace a clear glass window near the font. There were two letters of objection in respect of the window. Applying the principles laid down in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2012] (Court of Arches), the Chancellor was satisfied that any harm to the building would be minimal and that the design was appropriate, and he therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Nicolas Guildford [2020] ECC Gui 3

The Chancellor granted a confirmatory faculty for the replacement of a modern octagonal entrance vestibule to the church by extending the front entrance and providing information panels about the Loseley Chapel; incorporating the former outside gravel area and south wall of the Chapel into an internal, informal meeting space; expanding the current kitchen area and the installation of underfloor heating throughout the new entrance and reception areas, together with reglazing and the renewal of the heating and ventilation system.

Re St. Giles Exhall [2020] EACC 1

Leave to appeal granted by the Dean of the Arches in respect of a decision by the Chancellor not to allow a Gaelic inscription on a memorial unless accompanied by an English translation.

Re St. James Daisy Hill Westhoughton [2020] ECC Man 2

The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise a black granite memorial in the churchyard: " ... given the presence of so many examples of black granite memorials in this churchyard, it would in my judgment be unconscionable in this case to refuse consent for one more such memorial ..."

Re St. Michael & All Angels Sutton [2020] ECC Nor 3

The Chancellor granted a faculty for a single storey extension to the 14th century Grade II* church to house a lavatory, a vestry for the clergy and choir and storage for robes; the provision of a kitchenette at the base of the west tower; the repositioning of a screen; and the re-siting of a memorial stone.

Re St. Peter Ad Vincula Hampton Lucy [2020] ECC Cov 2

The petitioners wished to reserve a grave in the churchyard next to the grave of their son. Two parishioners objected: one, on the grounds that the churchyards regulations did not allow a grave reservation; and the other, on the grounds that the reservation would create a gap in a row of graves. The Chancellor granted a faculty. The first objector had misunderstood the purpose of the churchyard regulations, which did not prohibit a grave reservation, and, as regards the second objection, there would be only a modest effect on the appearance of the churchyard. The petitioners (who were in their 60s) were parishioners and entitled to be buried in the churchyard; there was sufficient room for burials for approximately thirty years; and there was a good reason for the petitioners wishing to be buried next to their son.

Re Lambeth Cemetery [2020] ECC Swk 4

The facts of the case were that the petitioner wished to have the body of his son, who was stillborn in 1998, exhumed from an area of the cemetery set aside for the remains of children and reinterred in a burial chamber in the same cemetery with the body of the petitioner's wife, who had died in 2020, the burial chamber being large enough for the petitioner's remains to be interred in it in due course, thus creating a family grave. In his judgment the Chancellor gives his reasons for having already granted a faculty for exhumation. The judgment contains a discussion of the approach of the courts in the leading cases relating to exhumation.

Re St. Lawrence Appleby [2020] ECC Car 1

The proposals were to complete a small kitchen/servery within a cupboard at the west end of the north aisle of the church; to remove some pews from the north aisle, to create a multi-purpose area, and to use wood from the removed pews for the servery cupboard; and to carry out some internal redecoration. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to conditions that (a) some form of ventilation, to be approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee, should be provided to protect the memorials next to the kitchen/servery and (b) any chairs chosen to replace the pew seating removed should be the subject of a separate faculty petition and consultation with the amenity societies.

Re St. Michael Cropthorne [2020] ECC Wor 4

The proposals were to create an accessible lean-to WC to the north of the nave with access from inside the church via the north door, and a tea-point at the west end of the south aisle. The installation of the tea point would require the shortening of four pews and one pew frontal. Historic England was opposed to the shortening of the ancient pews, but did not become a party opponent. The Chancellor decided to grant a faculty, being satisfied that only modest harm would be caused to the character of the building and that such harm as would be caused by the works would be more than outweighed by the resulting improvements to the way in which the church could be used for worship and mission.

Re St. Margaret Rottingdean [2020] ECC Chi 4

An urgent faculty was sought for the temporary removal of two headstones from the churchyard to a place of safety. They had been erected in 1962 on the graves of music hall performers whose stage names incorporated a term which is a derogatory and offensive reference to black people. That word was included in the inscriptions. The chancellor granted the faculties, as a temporary expedient to protect the headstones from damage, noting the current Black Lives Matter movement. He gave directions for the future disposal of the matter, particularly the tracing of the respective heirs-at-law, who are the legal owner of the headstones. The Chancellor will determine at a future date whether the headstones be re-introduced, either unaltered or with the offensive wording erased or obscured; whether alternative headstones be substituted; or whether there should be some other resolution.

Re St. John the Baptist Suckley [2020] ECC Wor 3

In 2015 the parish had embarked on an extensive set of reordering proposals, which had been the subject of faculty petitions in 2015 and 2017.The present application requested an amendment to the 2017 faculty. The petitioners now wished to replace some of the pews with the Alpha SB2M chair, a metal-framed chair upholstered in a beige, wipeable, stain-resistant fabric, instead of the Theo (all wood) chair which had originally been proposed. The Victorian Society argued that a metal-framed upholstered chair would not fit in with the remaining pews. The Chancellor took the view that "no modern chair, however designed, will match a Victorian pew", and he could see "no particular basis for a general rule against upholstered chairs in listed churches." He granted permission for either chair to be installed.

Re St. Leonard Badlesmere [2020] ECC Can 3

The priest-in-charge and churchwardens sought a confirmatory faculty for replacement of the nave and chancel ceilings and partial redecoration of the interior of the church, including the reredos panels. The plaster used included synthetic fibres, rather than traditional horse hair, and a modern paint had been used instead of limewash. The Commissary General considered that there was some minor harm to the significance of the Grade II* building, but accepted the expert evidence that it would do more harm than good, in physical terms, to strip out the work and start again. She accordingly granted a confirmatory faculty, subject to a condition that the work done should be monitored and reported on annually by the church architect for a period of ten years.

Re Holy Cross Epperstone [2020] ECC S&N 1

The petitioner's father's cremated remains were interred in Epperstone churchyard in Nottinghamshire in 2004. After he died, the petitioner moved to Bradford-on-Avon. In 2013 the petitioner's mother moved to a nursing home in Bradford-on-Avon and she died in 2018. The petitioner wished to have her father's ashes exhumed from Epperstone churchyard and interred with her mother's ashes in Bradford-on-Avon, because it would be inconvenient for the petitioner to travel regularly between Bradford-on-Avon and Nottinghamshire to visit her father's grave. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty, as inconvenience did not amount to an exceptional reason for departing from the general principle that Christian burial is to be seen as permanent.

Re St. Bartholomew Brighton [2020] ECC Chi 2

The churchwardens had made arrangements with the church architect and a contractor to install kitchenette facilities in a passage bounded on one side by the main wall of the church and on the other side by the remaining wall of a neighbouring cottage, long since demolished. When the work was almost completed, it was drawn to the attention of the Chancellor, who directed that an application should be made for a confirmatory faculty. In granting a faculty, subject to conditions, the Chancellor made it clear that these new works did not come within the list of works which could be carried out without faculty and that what had already been done had been carried out unlawfully. He directed that the costs of the application should be shared between the churchwardens, the architect and the contractor.

Re All Saints Hove [2020] ECC Chi 3

The works described in the petition were: 'Provision of a new café in the west end of the church including new freestanding café servery and food prep kitchen; integrated chair store; new services for the above (water, power, drainage); new glazed door to south porch; new loose café furniture and welcome desk.' The Victorian Society had reservations about the proposed chair storage, and suggested that the open servery could be replaced by one capable of being closed. The Chancellor, however, was satisfied with the two proposals. The Victorian Society also suggested that the choice of chair for the café area could be linked with a more holistic reordering of the seating in the church. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to conditions, including a condition that within five years the parish should put forward proposals for replacing the existing folding chairs in the body of the church.

Re St. Andrew Hingham [2020] ECC Nor 2

The proposals were to install lavatories and re-locate the kitchen servery, removing 10 (of a total of 60) pews from the end of the nave and 6 pews from the east end of the nave. The objective was to improve health and safety, create a better area for families during baptism, and to provide a more usable area for a wide range of activities alongside the provision of worship. The Victorian Society objected to the number of pews to be removed, but it did not become a party opponent. The Chancellor determined that a moderate degree of harm would be caused to the building, but that this could be justified by the church's needs.

Re Holy Trinity Rivington [2020] ECC Man 1

The proposal was to remove one pew and rearrange three pews at the western end of the church on the south side so as to form an enclosed space with pews on three sides, in order to provide more circulation space for people gathering for coffee after a service; a safe place for children during services; a space for notices and worship aids; and an area for small meetings. There were several letters of objection from people who were resident in the parish or on the electoral roll, but there were no formal parties opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the removal of the pews would not result in harm to the significance of the Grade II listed church as a building of special architectural or historic interest, and that the Petitioners had shown a sufficiently good reason for the change.

Re St. George's Minster Doncaster [2020] ECC She 2

The proposed works included the installation of four toilets and a foldaway servery at the east end of the north aisle of the Grade I listed church. The works required the removal of 18 pews with associated pew platforms, together with the removal of central heating and pipework from the pews. The floor would be excavated and a new floor laid with underfloor heating installed. Two memorial features would need to be relocated. The Victorian Society, whilst accepting that some pews needed to be removed, regarded 18 as too many. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for the proposals, which would provide some much-needed basic facilities, and granted a faculty.

Re St. George Newcastle [2020] ECC New 2

The proposal was to add a single-storey extension at the north-west corner of the Grade I listed church, to provide a lobby, kitchen, servery, a Garden Room, a storeroom and toilets. Fourteen members of the congregation submitted letters of objection in response to the public notices. The main ground for objection was the potential impact of the extension on the Memorial Garden which it would overlook, that it would be a cause of upset to the family members of those whose ashes are interred there and prevent its use for quiet reflection and remembrance. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for the proposed works and granted a faculty.

Re St. Giles Exhall [2020] ECC Cov 1

The petitioner's parents had both been born in the Irish Republic and had been active in serving the Irish community, both in Coventry and nationally. Following her mother's death, the petitioner sought a memorial, of which the significant features would be a Celtic Cross (which would extend beyond the top of the memorial) containing an emblem of the Gaelic Athletic Association, and the Irish Gaelic words “In ár gcroíthe go deo”, meaning “In our hearts forever”. The Chancellor took the view that a cross protruding above the memorial would have had a 'jarring impact' on the churchyard as a whole and that an incised cross would be more appropriate, to which the petitioner agreed. However, the Chancellor refused to allow an inscription in Gaelic without a translation, which would be incomprehensible to most people visiting the churchyard, and might be misconstrued as a slogan or political statement. He therefore granted a faculty for a memorial with an incised cross and for the Gaelic words to be included, provided that an English translation was also inscribed.

Re Lambeth Cemetery [2020] ECC Swk 3

The petitioner wished to have the cremated remains of her partner James's brother and sister exhumed from the consecrated area of Lambeth Cemetery and reinterred in the same double grave plot which James had reserved in 1991, intending the plot for his mother and himself. The reason for the request was that James's mother had died and her body had been buried in the plot, and James's brother and sister had then died, and their cremated remains had been interred in the plot. This presented a problem when James subsequently died, because for him to be buried in the grave (he did not wish to be cremated), the cremated remains of his brother and sister would have to be lifted in order to allow his burial, with their cremated remains then being returned to the grave. The Chancellor was satisfied that the circumstance were such as to justify the grant of a faculty.

Re St. Helen Worcester [2020] ECC Wor 2

A major reordering was proposed for the city centre church, which was in poor repair and little used, with a view to improving it for worship and attracting more community use. The works proposed a new entrance into the High Street (making it more accessible - the existing access being from Fish Street), replacing the kitchen, floor levelling, underfloor heating, new lighting and a new extension to house new toilets. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Victorian Society questioned the need to remove the east window for the insertion of the new doorway. The Chancellor considered, however, that a new large entrance would require the existing window opening and the stone panel beneath. He granted a faculty for all the works. He was satisfied that the works would "meet a clearly identified need, and that this outweighs any incidental loss of historic fabric or significance that may occur."

Re St. John the Evangelist Killingworth [2020] ECC New 1

The assistant curate and churchwardens applied for a faculty to have the church bell restored and rehung. The bell had been removed to the premises of a bell maintenance company in 2016, with the Archdeacon's permission, as it had become unsafe. A legacy had become available to meet most of the cost of the repair and rehanging. There was one objector, who did not become a party opponent. The Chancellor saw no substance in the grounds of objection and granted a faculty.

Re St. Nicholas Great Coates [2020] ECC Lin 2

The petitioner wished to introduce into the churchyard a memorial to her late husband. The proposed memorial included kerbs laid flush with the ground. The Diocesan Advisory Committee felt unable to recommend the proposal, as the churchyard regulations had for three decades not allowed the introduction of kerbs, and the Church Council did not support the proposal. Although the petitioner argued that kerbs laid flush with the ground would not impede mowing, the Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Mowing was not his only concern: "I am concerned that kerbs, even flush with the ground, would have the effect of creating a series of individual memorial plots, boundaried and set apart, grave by grave, from the rest of the churchyard. This would conflict with the sense that each grave and its memorial was contributing to the overall peace and tranquillity of the whole churchyard ..."

Re St. Mary Andover [2020] ECC Win 4

Extensive reordering was proposed, mainly with a view to providing more flexible worship and community use of the church. The main items of concern were: the removal of the chancel stalls to provide additional space for contemporary musical accompaniment for services and for visiting choirs and musicians; the replacement of the nave pews with chairs and the carpeting of the nave. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a case for the works, with the exception of the carpeting, and he granted a faculty accordingly.<?p>

Re St. Mary and the Holy Rood Donington [2020] ECC Lin 1

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.

Re Christchurch Dore [2020] ECC She 1

In September 2018, the Archdeacon had given a temporary licence for reordering, to allow the removal of two pews (to be retained in safe storage) and the reversal of a third pew, to provide a children's corner on the north side of the church. Three parishioners gave written objections, but did not become parties opponent. Against the background of a forthcoming petition for a general reordering, including removal of the pews, the Chancellor granted a faculty for the temporary arrangement authorised by the Archdeacon to continue until the forthcoming petition was determined. At that point the Chancellor could decide whether the present arrangement should continue or be reversed.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Alvaston [2020] ECC Der 3

There was an application for a faculty in respect of various items of reordering. In 2015, the parish had obtained an archdeacon's licence for temporary reordering, to allow the pews to be moved, to facilitate changes to the heating. The pews were removed and replaced with chairs from another church. The chairs had dark green frames and green upholstery on the seats, and on both sides of the seat backs, and had continued to remain in place. In 2016 a faculty had been granted for new heating, subject to a condition that proposals for any further reordering be put forward. Following the licence, the parish obtained the archdeacon's permission under List B in repect of items of floor boarding and carpeting. Nothing was done within the time limit of the archdeacon's licence or in accordance with the condition in the 2016 faculty until 2019. Notwithinstanding the delay and the changes that had been made, and his concern that he could not regard the removal of the pews as a 'minor' matter which could be the subject of a licence, the Chancellor granted a faculty. He determined that the chairs were acceptable and could remain. He also found the carpet acceptable.

Re All Saints Hesketh with Becconsall [2020] ECC Bla 1

The proposal was to install a new stained glass window in an existing three-light window in the south wall of the unlisted 20th century church in memory of a former parishioner. The Church Buildings Council did not favour the design for several reasons. The Deputy Chancellor himself did not favour the design, but nevertheless granted a faculty. The church was unlisted, the design had been unanimously approved by the Parochial Church Council, and there had been no objections. On the question as to the circumstances in which a memorial should be allowed in church, the Deputy Chancellor quoted Re St. Mary Longstock [2006] 1 W.L.R. 259 and Re St John, Out Rawcliffe [2017] ECC Bla 11 as "authority for the proposition that the ... test of exceptionality, which applies to the introduction of a memorial into a church, does not apply where what is sought to be introduced into a church is an object, such as a stained glass window, which should adorn and beautify the church, and comprise part of its fabric, even though it may also commemorate a particular individual."

Re All Saints Biddenden [2020] ECC Can 1

The priest in charge and a churchwarden sought permission to reuse for burials two areas of the churchyard, which had not been used for burials since 1850. The Commissary General determined that it was appropriate to use the areas for reburials and she granted a faculty. For the benefit of other parishes in the diocese, she indicated that reburial would normally be allowed where there had been no burials in an area to be reused for at least 75 years.

Re All Saints Biddenden [2020] ECC Can 2

The petitioner wished to apply fine shingle or fine gravel to the area within the kerbs of two graves, for the purpose of weed suppression. The Parochial Church Council ("PCC") opposed the proposal, as the Churchyard Regulations provided that “kerbs, railings or chippings, whether raised or at ground level, are not permitted", and the PCC had been endeavouring to enforce the regulations. They would have preferred the kerbs to be removed. The Commissary General considered the factors in favour and against allowing the proposal and decided, on balance, to grant a faculty: there was no petition for the removal of the kerbs; the introduction of fine shingle would not make mowing or strimming more difficult; the appearance of fine shingle was more natural than chippings; and the fine shingle would slow down the growth of weeds.

Re St. Mary Wootton [2020] ECC Oxf 5

The petitioner's father had been buried in the churchyard in 1982. In 1983, the petitioner's mother obtained a faculty reserving the grave next to her husband, as the stony nature of the ground had not permitted the digging of a double depth grave for the two of them. When the petitioner's mother died in 2015, it was found that another burial had encroached on the reserved grave, so that it was not possible for the petitioner's mother to be buried in the grave she had reserved. Her body was buried in a nearby grave. The petitioner, after some delay, applied for a faculty to authorise the exhumation of his father's body and for it to be reinterred in a grave next to that of the petitioner's mother. The Chancellor was satisfied that a mistake had been made and, notwithstanding the delay by the petitioner in presenting a petition, the Chancellor granted a faculty for the exhumation and reinterment.

Re St. Mary the Virgin North Aston [2020] ECC Oxf 3

The proposal was to replace a clear glass window in the south chapel of the church with a new, stained glass window of contemporary design (but incorporating two small original late medieval glass eagles). There was one party opponent, though several parishioners, including members of the Parochial Church Council, expressed their objections to the proposed design. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. He was not satisfied that a convincing case had been made for the particular design in the particular location, such as to overcome the normal presumption against change. He was also concerned that the design of the window, if introduced, would be resented by a significant minority of the worshipping community.

Re St. Mary Bampton Proper [2020] ECC Oxf 6

Part way through a restoration program for the church organ (which was authorised by faculty in 2015), the organ builder had died and the dismantled organ had been moved to another organ builder for storage. The petitioners now wished to continue the restoration work and to return the organ in its previous position against the east wall of the south transept, with the addition of some digital stops, to improve the projection of musical sound into the nave. The British Institute of Organ Studies and the Church Buildings Council objected to the addition of digital stops to the early 19th century organ. However, the Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for the proposed restoration and improvement works and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Andrew Cubley [2020] ECC Der 2

The body of a woman was buried in the grave of her brother. The brother's widow and son were not consulted by the woman's sons or the funeral director or the parish priest. Upon discovering what had happened, the son applied for a faculty for exhumation, as he felt that he and his mother should have been consulted and he would have objected to the interment in his father's grave, had he known about it. The Chancellor took the view that the woman's sons had kept quiet about the existence of the son and widow, in order to have their mother buried in an existing grave in Cubley, where she did not have a legal right to be buried. However, the Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for exhumation. Although it was regrettable that the petitioner and his mother had not been consulted, the petitioner had "not established any basis sufficient in law based on any property right analogous to a reservation, or otherwise, to support his petition for exhumation".

Re St. Michael Tilehurst [2020] ECC Oxf 2

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the exhumation of the mortal remains of the baby son of one of the petitioners and reinterment in Ireland. The baby had lived less than three months. The family had lived in Ireland for 20 years and had a double grave plot reserved in their local churchyard, which could accommodate six burials. The father was suffering from terminal cancer and wished to be buried with his child in the family plot. For this and other reasons, the Chancellor found that there were exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty.

Re Holy Trinity Bledlow [2020] ECC Oxf 4

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.

Re St. Paul Addlestone [2020] ECC Gui 1

The Parochial Church Council wished to install solar panels on the roof of the unlisted Victorian church in order to reduce its energy bills. The Deputy Chancellor was satisfied that "the visual impact of the solar panels will be relatively modest and can be accommodated without serious impact on the heritage value of the building", and he granted a faculty.

Re St. John the Baptist Capel [2020] ECC Gui 2

A parishioner objected to a proposal to introduce a new lighting scheme into the 13th century Grade II* church, but he chose not to become a party opponent. The Chancellor considered the parishioner's eight grounds of objection and considered that none of them provided a reason for refusing the grant of a faculty.

Re All Saints Northallerton [2020] ECC Yor 1

There were two petitioners covering: removal of the pulpit (to improve sight-lines to an altar under the tower, between the nave and the chancel); replacing the gas boiler; underfloor heating in the nave; and electric heating in the chancel. There were two letters of objection to the removal of the pulpit. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for all the works and granted a faculty.

Re St. Chad Pattingham [2020] ECC Lic 4

The proposals were to introduce a votive candle stand and to replace nine pews with Alpha A1LSE chairs with upholstered seats and backs. The Diocesan Advisory Committee ("DAC") did not recommend the proposed chairs. Reservations were also expressed by Historic England, the Victorian Society, and the Ancient Monuments Society. The Chancellor's view was that "the introduction of the proposed chairs would strike a discordant note by way of the presence of large and readily visible areas of coloured fabric." He directed that a faculty should issue for the votive stand, and that a faculty should also issue for the replacement of the pews with such chairs having upholstered seats but unupholstered backs as would be deemed appropriate by the DAC.

Re St. Thomas a Becket Lovington [2020] ECC B&W 1

The subject-matter of the petition was a piece of unconsecrated churchyard between the original churchyard and an adjacent lane. The proposal was to grant a 999 year lease of a strip of the unconsecrated land to the neighbour whose house lay at the end of the lane, which was of tapering width, in order to give the lane uniform width, to allow better access for cars and larger vehicles. There were objections from members of the family who owned the land on the opposite side of the lane. The Chancellor determined that the terms of the proposed lease would benefit both the neighbour and the church, and he granted a faculty. The judgment contains a discussion of the court's jurisdiction to permit the disposal of unconsecrated churchyard land.

Re Saffron Hill Cemetery [2020] ECC Lei 1

The petitioner was acting on behalf of an elderly and infirm gentleman in Ireland, a Mr. Cunningham, who wished to have the remains of his mother exhumed and reinterred in the Roman Catholic churchyard in Ireland next to the place where he was proposing to be interred. Mr. Cunningham's mother was unmarried when she gave birth to Mr. Cunningham, her only child. The stigma of an unmarried young woman having a child had caused the family to send Mr. Cunningham's mother away to England and to arrange for Mr. Cunningham to be adopted. After his adoptive parents had died, Mr. Cunningham attempted to trace his birth mother and in about 2016 found that she was buried in Leicestershire. The Chancellor considered that there were special circumstances justifying him in granting a faculty, subject to there being no objection from Mr. Cunningham's mother's brother, if still alive.

Re The Ascension Blackheath [2020] ECC Swk 3

Extensive reordering works were proposed. The controversial aspects of the proposals were the removal of the pews, their replacement with chairs, and the installation of a new timber floor. The Chancellor was satisfied that the public benefit to be derived from the works would outweigh any harm to the interior of the church and he therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Dionysius Market Harborough [2020] ECC Lei 3

The faculty petition proposed an extensive reordering to provide: more space in the nave, aisles and chancel with moveable seating; a team administration office; an enclosed meeting space; a new kitchen, refreshment point and toilets; a welcoming entrance, and improved audiovisual systems, Wi-Fi, heating and lighting. All the consultees agreed a specification which all parties could live with. The Chancellor granted a faculty

Re St. Michael & All Angels Fenny Drayton [2020] ECC Lei 2

The petitioner applied for a a confirmatory faculty permitting the continued presence in the churchyard of a memorial made of white marble 55 centimetres high in the shape of a cross, with some heart motifs and a brass plaque on it. The memorial did not comply with the churchyard regulations. Neither the Diocesan Advisory Committee nor the Parochial Church Council approved of the memorial. The Chancellor dismissed the petition and directed that the stone should be removed by the petitioner within 2 months, in default of which the stone should be removed by the incumbent and churchwardens. However, the Chancellor gave the petitioner 14 days in which to apply in writing with reasons why the order should not be enforced and that the dismissal of the petition should remain on hold in the meantim

Re St. Mary Haddiscoe [2020] ECC Nor 1

The petitioners wished to fell a holly tree in the churchyard, because the roots were damaging a table-top tomb dated 1791. They also wished to fell a failing ash tree and to reduce the crowns of two further holly trees encroaching on graves. A report by experts said that either the tomb or the holly tree next to it should be removed. There were living descendants of those commemorated by the tomb who did not want the tomb disturbed. The Chancellor decided that the preservation of the tomb in situ was more important than the preservation of the holly tree. He also agreed to the removal of the ash tree. As regards the remaining two holly trees, the Chancellor required to petitioners to take expert advice about more modest proposals for pruning the two trees.

Re St. Mary Oxted [2020] ECC Swk 2

The petitioners wished to install glass doors in a wooden frame to the outer archway of the church porch. The Diocesan Advisory Committee supported the proposal. Of the amenity societies notified of the proposal, only the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings objected. The Chancellor was satisfied that a convincing case had been made for the proposal and that public benefit would outweigh any harm. He therefore granted a facult

Re St. Michael & All Angels Blaisdon [2020] ECC Glo 3

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.

Re St. Thomas of Canterbury Tangley [2020] ECC Win 3

The petitioners wished to carry out some reordering works inside and outside the church, so that the church could be used for retreats and quiet days. The main item at issue was a proposed platform to be erected in a piece of woodland at the end of the churchyard. (The woodland had formerly been glebe, but had been added to the churchyard some years previously.) The petitioners proposed to use the platform as a base for a temporary structure, such as a tent or a gazebo, whilst conducting retreats. The Chancellor refused to allow the platform, but granted a faculty for all the other items in the petitio

Re St. Laurence Alvechurch [2020] ECC Wor 1

The petitioner wished to place a memorial on her mother's grave. The parish priest declined to authorise the proposed memorial, as it did not fall within the scope of the Diocesan Guidelines. The design resembled a scroll, between two hand-carved angels, above a plinth resting on a base. The central “scroll” and the plinth and base were in Rustenburg dark grey granite, and the two angels in a paler stone. The Chancellor considered that carvings of angels in full relief would not be appropriate to the setting, but he would not object to carvings of angels in low relief on the memorial stone. On that basis he granted a faculty for a memorial, subject to the final design being approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee or, in default of such approval, by the court.

Re St. John the Evangelist Cononley with Bradley [2020] ECC Lee 1

A faculty had been granted in 2016 to authorise extensive reordering works in the church. The faculty had authorised (inter alia) solid wood Rosehill chairs. The petitioners now wished, after the extended period for completion of the works had elapsed, to introduce Alpha chairs with wooden backs and upholstered seats. The Chancellor refused to grant such variation to the faculty granted in 2016, so as now to allow part-upholstered chairs, but indicated that he would be prepared to consider a further application for variation in respect of one of the alternative solid wood chairs suggested by the church's inspecting architect prior to the 2016 faculty.

Re St. James Brownhills [2020] ECC Lic 3

The petitioner wished to reserve a triple-depth grave for himself, his brother and his sister. The Parochial Church Council("the PCC") was opposed to the reservation of the grave, as it had maintained a policy of not supporting the reservation of gravespaces for at least forty years. The Chancellor found that there were exceptional reasons to allow the grant of a faculty: (1) the grave would be for three family members; (2) the graveyard already contained the graves of a number of members of the petitioner’s family; (3) there were concerns (undisclosed in the judgment) which were personal to the petitioner. The Chancellor also noted that, notwithstanding the policy of the PCC, members of the PCC were sympathetic to the petitioner's request.

Re St. Philip & St. James Up Hatherley [2020] ECC Glo 2

The petitioner sought a faculty to authorise the exhumation of the cremated remains of his wife from the churchyard at Up Hatherley, in order that the remains might be reinterred in Australia, where the couple had lived since emigrating there in 1980 and had brought up their family. Following his wife's death, the petitioner, against the wishes of his family, including his wife (an atheist), who had made it known to the rest of her family that she had no wish to be buried in a Christian churchyard in England, arranged to have his wife's ashes interred in the churchyard at Up Hatherley. After recovering from an illness after the interment in England, the petitioner realised that he had made a mistake in having his wife's ashes interred in an English churchyard against her wishes and wished to have her ashes moved to Australia. The Deputy Chancellor decided that the mistake constituted an exceptional ground for allowing exhumation.

Re St. Mary Chithurst [2020] ECC Chi 1

The Parish Council, which was responsible for the maintenance of the closed churchyard at Chithurst, wished to fell an ash tree, which was suffering from ash die-back, on the grounds that the disease might cause the tree to become dangerous within the next few years and cause damage to the church or passers-by. The proposal was opposed by two neighbours. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for the felling of the tree and granted a faculty.

Re All Saints Marcham [2020] ECC Oxf 1

The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise the removal of a large yew tree growing close to the south wall of the nave of the church.

Re St. Peter & St. Paul Coleshill [2020] ECC Bir 1

The reordering works approved by a faculty granted in 2015 had not been completed within the time allowed. A new petition was presented, requesting authority to carry out the remaining items of work. Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings had concerns about certain aspects of the proposals (including the pews, the heating system, raising the floors, carpeting, the screens and the glazing). However, the Chancellor was satisfied that a case had been made for the proposals and granted a faculty.

Re St. Mary Canwell [2020] ECC Lic 2

The Chancellor refused to permit a memorial bearing the masonic symbol of a square and compasses, because he considered that "wording or symbols which give rise to a real risk of offence or upset to a significant body of those visiting the churchyard will not be permitted."

Re St. John the Baptist Ruardean [2020] ECC Glo 1

The petition proposed various landscaping works in the churchyard, relating to the addition of a churchyard extension. There was a single objection to the removal of a line of fir trees. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty for all the proposed works.

Re Holy Trinity Mapperley [2020] ECC Der 1

The petitioners wished to remove permanently from the 1960s church the original pulpit, which had not been used for 20 years. Three individuals objected to the proposal, but the Chancellor determined that the pulpit 'does little, if anything, for the look of the interior, and it is not an item of intrinsic worth or merit.' He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Blackheath Park [2020] ECC Swk 1

The Chancellor granted a faculty to permit the installation of external floodlighting. The judgment contains a discussion of the effect of floodlighting on the carbon footprint of the church.

Re Holy Trinity Christchurch [2020] ECC Win 2

The proposal was to remove the last three remaining rows of 20th century pews from the nave of the Grade I church, to 'facilitate flexible use of the nave for worship and missional events'. The Chancellor was satisfied that the benefits of removal far outweighed any disadvantages and he accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Francis of Assisi Bournemouth [2020] ECC Win 1

The proposal was to install an audio-visual system in the church, to include a number of retractable screens and a camera. There were three letters of objection, stating that the screens would be detrimental to the character of the Grade II 20th century church; there was no need for permanent screens; the financial cost was not justified; and there were concerns about privacy and data protection. The Chancellor was satisfied that there was a genuine need for the screens and that what was proposed was the best option. He therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. John the Baptist Ashley [2020] ECC Lic 1

The petitioner, a non-parishioner, wished to reserve a grave space in the churchyard for herself and her partner, next to the plot in which her father was buried. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. There were only 50 available spaces, and burials averaged 7 a year. The petitioner, aged 31, was unlikely to die before the remaining spaces were required within about 7 years' time by those legally entitled to be buried in the churchyard, and so a reservation would prevent parishioners being buried in the remaining spaces.