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

Judgments Recently Received

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Re St. John Clayton [2021] ECC Lee 5

Several items of reordering were proposed. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the front row of choir pews on each side of the chancel. The Ancient Monuments Society objected likewise and also to the moving of the chancel screen to the west end of the church. It also had reservations about the ramp leading up to the dais. The Diocesan Advisory Committee recommended the proposals. The Chancellor decided that the petitioners' justification for the proposals was persuasive and he granted a faculty, subject to a condition (inter alia) that the frontals of the choir stalls should be relocated after the front rows of stalls on either side had been removed.<?p>

Re St. Mary Great Sankey [2021] ECC Liv 3

The petitioners wished to replace 75 wooden upholstered chairs with 75 lightweight metal and upholstered Alpha SB2M chairs, which are more easily moveable and stackable. The Church Buildings Council objected to upholstered chairs. The Chancellor granted a faculty. He took the view that, as upholstered chairs had been used in the church for upwards of 12 years, their replacement with the proposed new upholstered chairs would meet a need and result in minimal change in the overall appearance of the church.

Re St. Dunstan Edge Hill [2021] ECC Liv 2

There was a petition for the removal and sale of the Willis pipe organ installed soon after the church was built in the late 19th century. The organ was in a poor state of repair, had not been played since 1985, and was now unplayable. The Bethany Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, had offered to purchase the organ and restore it to its original design. The Chancellor granted a faculty. Although the removal of the organ would result in serious harm to the significance of the building in terms of its historical and architectural interest, the benefit of having the organ restored to full working order far outweighed the alternative, that the organ would continue to deteriorate, if left in situ.

Re Holy Trinity Poulton-le-Sands [2021] ECC Bla 5

The proposals were to install two matching etched-glass memorial screens and doors in the north and south archways at the east end of the nave, and also install a new projector and a 'smart' glass projector screen, which would be transparent when not in use, and opaque when used with the projector. The Victorian Society objected to the proposed projector screen. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the proposals would not cause more than minimal harm to the significance of this church as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

Re St. Peter Limpsfield [2021] ECC Swk 7

The petition proposed the replacement of the link between the church and the Millenium Room (a church extension on the north side), providing a lobby, meeting rooms, storage and improved toilet and kitchen facilities. There were eight objections on behalf of eleven people, on the grounds of costs, but none became a party opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Peter Walsall [2021] ECC Lic 4

A petition was submitted for the removal of pews and the pew platforms from the church, to be replaced with chairs featuring upholstered seat and back pads, and to replace the existing heating with 30 wall-mounted radiators together with underfloor pipes all heated by a gas-fired boiler. The faculty was granted on the condition that as far as practicable gas would be supplied under a green tariff and carbon emissions caused by any non-renewable gas used are off-set. In respect of the removal of pews, four pews were to be retained and repositioned against the north and south walls; the increase in the area of wooden flooring to cover the current extent of the north and south aisles; and the provision that all the chairs would be covered in 'Espresso' upholstery, a dark brown to match the woodwork in the church.

Re Tixhall Road Cemetery Stafford [2021] ECC Lic 3

The petitioner's father had died in 2017 and was buried in the cemetery in Stafford, in one half of a double grave, so that the petitioner's mother could be buried next to her husband in due course. The petitioner and her mother intended to remain in Stafford, but circumstances changed and they moved to Anglesey. The petitioner wished to move her father's remains for reburial in Anglesey, where the petitioner's mother could in due course be buried next to her husband. The Deputy Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Following the guidance of the Court of Arches in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam 299, the fact that the petitioner's mother (aged 95) was infirm and could no longer manage the journey to Stafford was not capable of being an exceptional circumstance such as to justify exhumation.

Re St. Giles Ashtead [2021] ECC Gui 1

The petitioners' father died in 1998 and his cremated remains were interred in the southern end of the churchyard, near the grave of his grandparents. The petitioners' mother died in 2020, having made a codicil to her will, in which she expressed a desire to be buried and not cremated. She was buried in the burial area at the northern end of the churchyard. The petitioners now wished to move their father's cremated remains to the grave of their mother, in order to fulfil the hope expressed by their mother in the codicil that her husband's remains might be taken up and buried in her grave. The Chancellor did not consider that there were exceptional reasons to justify the grant of a faculty for exhumation and reinterment: "Mr Cooper is already buried close to family members and so the family grave consideration does not give rise to exceptional circumstances. "

Re St. Andrew Haughton-le-Skerne [2021] EACY 1

After considering the judgments of the Chancellor of the Diocese of Durham in [2018] ECC Dur 2, [2021] Dur 2, and [2021] Dur 3, the Auditor of the Chancery Court of York refused permission to appeal against the Chancellor's decision that a ledger stone bearing an enamelled photograph should be removed from an area of the churchyard set aside for cremated remains.

Re St. Andrew Castle Combe [2021] ECC Bri 1

Although the churchyards regulations did not normally permit memorial kerbs, the Chancellor granted a faculty to permit kerbs to be added to a memorial in the churchyard, there being a large number of well-tended memorials with kerbs in the area.

Re All Saints Leigh [2021] ECC Bri 3

The petition contained two proposals. The first was for the installation of an 'Eco Loo', for which the Chancellor granted a faculty. But he declined to grant a faculty for the removal of a number of pews from the Grade II* church, in order to create an area for functions other than services. The amenity societies objected to the removal of the pews and the Chancellor was of the opinion that no adequate justification for the proposals had been made.

Re St. Olave York [2021] ECC Yor 4

The Chancellor granted a faculty for a memorial to be placed inside the church in memory of Dick Reid. The requirement of exceptionality was satisfied as the deceased had been an internationally renowned sculptor and letter carver.

Re St. Michael Rossington [2021] ECC She 5

The petitioner applied for a confirmatory faculty for a replacement memorial on her parents' grave. The new memorial included the additional words, 'Honey I missed you', being a line from a song which the petitioner's father used to sing at his wife's grave. The Deputy Chancellor granting a faculty, taking the view that the inscription was "neither offensive nor incompatible with the Christian faith. No disrespect for that faith, the Church, or the churchyard as a place of rest and solace for many was intended. Rather, the inscription was chosen by the applicant as a fitting memorial to her parents." <

Re Crowland Abbey [2021] ECC Lin 3

A faculty was sought to change the use of the parvise of the 15th century west porch of Crowland Abbey from a storage area to a chapel suitable for Eastern Orthodox worship, in anticipation of the completion of a sharing agreement between the priest in charge of Crowland Abbey and Archbishop Silousan Oner, of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland. The project required the construction of an iconostasis at the eastern end of the parvise, a new floor covering, a reliquary, credence table, reading stand and curtains for the external windows. The Chancellor was content for the agreement to be completed and the works to be carried out. He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St Mary and St James Great Grimsby [2021] ECC Lin 4

The petition sought retrospective permission for various works of reordering carried out without faculty during the 1990s. In a previous judgment the Chancellor had required the Parochial Church Council to put forward some proposals for recording what the church was like before the reordering, including the names of donors of items which had been removed, and also proposals for displaying the regimental banners. The Chancellor did not grant a faculty for the works carried out in the 1990s, but approved the display of drawings showing how the church looked before the reordering and the display of the regimental banners.

Re All Saints Calverton [2021] ECC Oxf 7

The petitioner applied for a retrospective faculty to authorise the installation on a grave in the churchyard of what was described in the petition as a “grey plastic border and white gravel”, a memorial different from those permitted by the Diocese of Oxford Churchyard Regulations 2016. The Chancellor did not regard as determinative the petitioner's contention that there were already a number of other graves with kerbing in the churchyard. The Parochial Church Council objected to the grant of a faculty, on the grounds that kerbs made maintenance more difficult, and that they had already been trying to get other families to remove similar embellishments on graves. The Chancellor determined that the petitioner had not made a good case for a departure from the churchyards regulations and he refused to grant a faculty.

Re All Saints Bakewell [2021] ECC Der 4

The vicar and churchwardens sought a faculty for repairs and overhaul of the church organ. The cost of the work was estimated at £135,000. There were two letters of objection, but the writers did not wish to be parties opponent. One objector disapproved of so much being spent on the church building compared to the amount spent on mission and growth. The second objector also considered that the amount to be spent on the organ could not be justified, when the organ was little used. The Chancellor granted a faculty: "In my judgment, issues relating to the cost of the works and the justification for spending money on the organ are primarily matters for the PCC, not for the Consistory Court."

Re St. Cuthbert Fishlake [2021] ECC She 4

The petitioner, aged 84, wished to reserve a grave in the churchyard. She did not live in the parish, but was baptised, confirmed and married at the church, and numbers of her relatives were buried in the churchyard, including her parents, grandparents and great grandparents. The Chancellor declined to grant a faculty, because there was limited grave space left; the Parochial Church Council had a policy of not supporting reservations, and they were concerned about managing a diminishing resource. However, the Chancellor felt confident that the petitioner's strong connections with the church would be properly taken into account at the time of her death.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Berwick [2021] ECC Chi 7

The petitioners wished to remove from the church the existing pews and chairs and replace them with stackable benches made by Treske. The existing seating was in storage following directions for temporary removal relating to a previous petition. There were no parties opponent, but the Diocesan Advisory Committee felt unable to recommend the proposals. Also, Historic England and the Victorian Society opposed the proposals, and there were several other representations. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for all the pews to be removed on the basis that the proposed removal of the seating in its entirety would cause harm to the church’s significance as a place of special architectural and historic interest.

Re Christ Church Worthing [2021] ECC Chi 8

The Chancellor granted a faculty for reordering works, including: removal of some pews and pew platforms from the west end of the church; a new suspended floor with wet trench heating; ; new footings below the new floor, in anticipation of a potential reinstatement of the gallery; introduction of a tea point/servery and storage cupboards; works to plasterwork and glazing; and electrical and drainage works.

Re St. Philip & St. James Hallow [2021] ECC Wor 5

The petition proposed the reordering of the north aisle of the Grade II* Victorian church by the removal of 10 pews and the introduction of 30 new stacking chairs and 5 new stacking tables, in order to provide space for meetings for adults or children, the serving of food, musicians, parking of push-chairs and chair seating for services. The Victorian Society and Historic England submitted objections, but were not parties opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the public benefits that would arise from the proposals would outweigh the harm they would cause to the significance of the building.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Bugbrooke [2021] ECC Pet 1

The husband and wife petitioners sought permission to include on a memorial to the wife's father the words 'Dad' and 'Pap' . The Chancellor initally refused permission, as he considered that informal terms of address were not generally suitable for use as a public record on a memorial. And whilst there were a few examples of similar words being used in other parts of the churchyard (none near the grave in question), the Chancellor took the view that so few breaches of the churchyards regulations did not justify allowing further breaches. However, following further representations from the petitioners, that there were already 34 examples in the churchyard of the use of informal descriptions, the Chancellor issued a revised judgment in which he gave permission for the use of the informal descriptions in this case.

Re St. Lupus Kirk Malew [2020] EC Sodor 1

The petitioner applied for a faculty to put kerbs around her late husband's grave. Footings for the kerbs had already been laid without a faculty first being obtained. Although there were several sets of kerbs in other parts of the churchyard, a decision had been made by the church in 1987 not to allow kerbs in the particular row where the petitioner had applied to reserve a grave, because the path at the foot of the graves narrowed, and to allow kerbs along the row would ultimately restrict the path and inhibit access for maintenance machinery. The widow had agreed at the time she reserved the grave that kerbs would not be allowed. The Deputy Vicar General dismissed the petition and directed that the kerb footings should be removed.

Re Redland Parish Church [2021] ECC Bri 4

In 2018, a former archdeacon, at the request of the incumbent, had agreed to the interment of some ashes in the closed churchyard, though the Chancellor could find no evidence of the incument advising the archdeacon that the churchyard was closed by Order in Council, in which case a faculty would have been required to authorise the interment. There was now an application for a confirmatory faculty for the interment and for the erectino of a memorial. The Chancellor determeined, for pastoral reasons, to grant a faculty.

Re St. Chad Dunholme [2021] ECC Lin 2

Reordering proposals included: remove toilet, replace with servery and construct mezzanine with staircase and screen facing the nave; replace pews and pew platforms with 'Theo' chairs; new stone floor; repositioning of the font; electrical heating, lighting and audio-visual works; internal redecoration; and relocation of the chancel screen. The greatest concerns of the amenity societies related the mezzanine and stairs. The Chancellor was satisfied that the works were appropriate and granted a faculty subject to conditions.

Re St. John the Evangelist Ashton Hayes [2020] ECC Chr 1

The petitioners wished the Chancellor to vary a faculty granted in 2018 in respect of the choice of chair to be used in the internal reordering of the church, by approving their suggested choice of the (upholstered) Alpha SB2M chair in substitution for the previously intended Trinity ‘Abbey’ (un-upholstered) chair. The Church Buildings Council, the Victorian Society and the Diocesan Advisory Committee were not in favour of upholstered seating. The Chancellor was satisfied that the proposed alternative seat had a good 'track record' and that it was acceptable for this particular church. He accordingly granted a faculty.

Re St. Peter Gaulby [2021] ECC Lei 2

The petitioners wished to remove fifteen of the nineteen pews in the nave, retaining two pews in the nave and two in the chancel, and introduce fifty lightweight stackable wooden chairs, some with arms and some with vinyl padded seats. The pews were acquired from a boarding school chapel in the 1990s. The Chancellor determined that the pews were 'lacking in connection to the church and not lending any particular style to it', so that in removing the pews there would be no harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest. Notwithstanding the amenity societies not being in favour of some of the seats being padded, the Chancellor decided that the effect of beige padding on light teak wooden frames would be minimal, and she therefore granted a faculty.

Re St. Matthew Edgeley [2021] ECC Chr 1

The contentious items of a major proposed reordering were: remodelling of the porch; replacement of the pews with upholstered chairs; a dais and ramp; relocation of the font; and removal of the stalls in the chancel. In fact some of the pews had been sold and removed before the petition came before the Chancellor, who directed that steps be taken to recover the pew benches until he had made a decision. However, having considered the evidence at a hearing, the Chancellor was satisfied that a case had been made for the changes, and he granted a faculty, provided that the type of replacement chair and the disposal of the chancel stalls should be reserved matters, not to be proceeded with in advance of further advice from the DAC and approval of the court.

Re St. Peter Heversham [2021] ECC Car 3

The petitioners' proposals included: the creation of a draught lobby in the church porch with new screening, glass doors and stepless access; a second toilet, accessible to the disabled; removal of some pews; alteration of the children's pews; and some electrical and heating works. Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings were concerned about the impact of the proposed porch screen on the building's significance and special interest. However, the Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made out a good case for the proposals and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Michael & All Angels Muncaster [2021] ECC Car 2

Three siblings, who had moved away from the parish, applied for a faculty to reserve two grave spaces next to their mother's grave. At a meeting of seven members of the Parochial Church Council ("PCC"), when a vote on the request for reservations was taken, two couples voted against the proposal on various grounds, including that there were spaces left for only 10 years of burials; the applicants never attended the church or contributed to it; and the PCC had a 'first-come-first-served' policy. The Chancellor was satisfied that the PCC had never passed a resolution for such a policy. He also said that the family's contributions to the life of the local community should be considered as of equal weight to any financial contributions which they could have, but did not in fact, make to the Church. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re Holy Trinity High Hurstwood [2021] ECC Chi 5

The priest-in-charge and churchwardens wished to carry out the following works: the disposal of 16 benches; the introduction of Alpha SB2M upholstered chairs; the installation of a screen and projector at the front of the church; the provision of a live link with the crèche; the installation of three metal gates outside to create a safer space for children; and the provision of a key safe. The Chancellor granted a facuty. The petitioners had produced a comprehensive Statement of Need to support the mission and growth of the church. However, the Chancellor did not consider that the peitioners had made a good case for upholstered chairs and the faculty was therefore subject to a condition that the chairs should not be upholstered.

Re St. John the Evangelist Hoylandswaine [2021] ECC Lee 4

The petitioners wished to reorder the interior of the church to provide toilets, a kitchen, storage and improved heating. The church was built in 1869 by the architect W. H. Crossland and is Grade II listed. The Parochial Church Council's objective was to ensure that the church stayed open for church and community use and thereby avoided closure. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. Notwithstanding the general aspirations of the petitioners, he considered that the works would result in harm to the significance of this church as a building of special architectural or historic interest, and the petitioners had not produced sufficient substantive evidence of the prospective benefits of the works which might outweigh any harm that might be caused to the historic integrity of the church.

Re St. Cuthbert Over Kellet [2021] ECC Bla 4

The proposal was permanently to remove the doors from 27 late-Georgian (1819) and three Victorian (1863) wooden box pews in the Grade II* listed church. The doors had already been temporarily removed under an Archdeacon's licence for temporary reordering. The main objectives were to make access to the pews easier and safer (especially for children) and to improve the visual appearance of the church. Objections were received from Historic England, the Ancient Monuments Society, the Victorian Society, and the Georgian Society. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty. He was not satisfied that the petitioners had put forward a compelling case for the permanent removal of the pew doors: "I find that the permanent removal of the pew doors would result in harm to the historic significance and the fabric of this Grade II* listed church."

Re St. John the Evangelist Newbury [2021] ECC Oxf 6

To improve the accessibility, openness, visibility and welcome to visitors to the church, the petitioners wished to create a glazed outer porch to the main entrance of the church; a ramp within the existing porch space; improved entrance lighting; and adjustments to the current doors. The church was built between 1955 and 1957 and is Grade II listed. The Twentieth Century Society had concerns about the structure of the outer porch. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for the proposals and granted a faculty.

Re St. Bartholomew Leigh [2021] ECC Swk 6

The proposals were to extend the church tower to the south, to the depth of the existing exterior buttresses, to allow for the internal fitting of a WC and a tea point. An access for the disabled would also be created. There were eight objectors, none becoming parties opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for the proposals, and he granted a faculty.

Re St. Bartholomew Tong [2021] ECC Lic 2

A faculty had been granted to allow the installation of glass doors in wooden frames at the south porch of the church. The manufacturers advised that the proposed frames were not thick enough to support the glass, and so the petitioners agreed to slightly wider frames without referring the matter to the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). The petitioners were also advised that patch hinges would be inadequate and they agreed to floor socket hinges. The doors were installed. The petitioners applied for three variations to the faculty: (1) retrospective approval of wider frames and alternative hinges; (2) replacing the proposed oak handles with stainless steel; and (3) applying to the glass a film bearing the designs originally proposed, instead of etching, on account of the high cost of the etching. The Chancellor approved the wider profile of the wooden surrounds of the doors; refused to approve replacing the oak handles with stainless steel ones, and approved the application of film to the glass, only if further attempts to raise the cost of the etching by 1st November 2021 failed.

Re St. Mary Chinley [2021] ECC Der 3

The petition proposed the removal and disposal of three pews from the back of the church, replacing them with moveable tables and chairs; removal and disposal of the wooden pulpit; and moving the stone font from the back to the front of the church. The church building dates from 1907. It was formerly a church hall. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty.

Re St. Margaret Rottingdean [2021] ECC Chi 6

The petitioners sought permission "to remove (temporarily) the pews in the south aisle to create space for post-service fellowship and missional/social activities, and to provide a temporary kitchenette pending approval of a future major development project to reorder the church interior and construct an extension". The Victorian Society, Local Planning Authority and Historic England were basically satisfied with the proposals for temporary reordering, subject to them being time-limited. The Chancellor was satisfied with the petitioners' justification for the short term proposals and that the benefits of the proposals would outweigh any harm. He granted a faculty for two years, after which the status quo should be restored, unless at the end of that period there was a petition before the court for more permanent reordering proposals.

Re St. Mary the Virgin Ashbury [2021] ECC Oxf 5

The petitioners wished to place in the churchyard a bench made of steel with slats made from recycled plastic. The Diocesan Advisory Committee ('DAC') did not recommend the proposal. They considered the design not suitable for a historic village churchyard, but more appropriate for a school or city centre, and that a timber bench would be more appropriate. The Chancellor granted a faculty. He did not think it appropriate or necessary to overrule the choice of the Parochial Church Council ('PCC') on grounds of aesthetics. However, he imposed a condition that the PCC should reconsider the design and materials of the bench. If they decided on an alternative, then the alternative would be allowed, subject to prior approval by the DAC. Otherwise, the design accompanying the petition was approved.

Re St. James in the City Toxteth [2021] ECC Liv 1

The church had fallen into a state of dereliction in the 1970s and had to be closed. In 2010 a trust was set up to improve the church and grow its congregation. By 2018 there was an average Sunday attendance of 150, but due to the state of the building and lack of heating, the congregation had to meet for worship in a marquee inside the church with portable heating. A major scheme of reordering was proposed, including heating and lighting, toilet and kitchen facilities and the creation of more floor space by the introduction of an upper floor at the west end. Of the amenity societies who were consulted, only the Georgian Group had objections to the proposals, principally concerning the proposed new upper floor space. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that there was a compelling case for the improvements, which would support a now thriving congregation.

Re St. Giles Exhall [2021] EACC 1

This was an appeal against a decision of the Chancellor of the Diocese of Coventry (in Re St. Giles Exhall [2020] ECC Cov 1), who granted a faculty for a memorial which included a short inscription in Gaelic, but subject to a condition that there should be an English translation beneath the Gaelic inscription, to which the petitioner and her family objected. The Court of Arches heard the appeal on 24 February 2021 and announced the same day its decision to allow the appeal, reserving its reasons to a written judgment, which was delivered on 16 June 2021.

Re St. Mary Beenham Valence [2021] ECC Oxf 4

The Chancellor granted a faculty to permit the exhumation of the petitioner's mother's cremated remains, in order to facilitate the interment of the Petitioner's father's remains in the grave, with her mother's ashes placed in her father's coffin.

Re St. Saviour's Cemetery Hungerford [2021] ECC Oxf 3

The petitioner's mother had died in 2004, and her cremated remains had been buried in the grave of the petitioner's sister, who had died in 2001. The husband of the petitioner's sister died after a very short illness in 2021. The petitioner wished to have her mother's ashes exhumed, so that her sister's husband's remains could be buried with the remains of his wife. The petitioner also wished to move her mother's ashes to a plot 8-10 metres away, where the remains of the petitioner's father could in due time be interred. The Chancellor determined that there were sufficient exceptional circumstances to justify the grant of a faculty.

Re Holy Trinity Hull [2021] ECC Yor 3

The priest-in-charge and churchwardens petitioned for the introduction of a set of altar frontals in liturgical colours for the main altar. The objects of their proposal were: "firstly to introduce the colours of the church’s liturgical year more prominently into the building and secondly to add colour to what is otherwise a relatively drab space apart from the windows." Two letters of objection were received. One objector questioned the appropriateness of such adornment, when funds might be better spent on outreach. The other objector considered it wrong to cover up the beautifully carved Victorian altar table. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioners had put forward a good argument for their proposal and that the objections did not amount to a good reason as to why the change should not be permitted.

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.