Display:

The faculty petition proposed extensive reordering. The church had entered a period of decline in the 1990s and was without an incumbent from 2010-2014, when it came under the leadership of a team from St Peter’s, Brighton, which is part of the Holy Trinity Brompton network. Since then a more modern style of worship had been adopted and the congregation had grown. The only point of contention was the type of chair chosen to replace the pews. The petitioners favoured the Alpha SB2M chair, which is a stackable, metal chair with a chrome finish and an upholstered seat and back. The Victorian Society objected to the proposed and became a party opponent. Originally, they felt that a wooden, unupholstered chair would be more appropriate. However, after further correspondence they accepted that in the particular context of a church which had been revived by modern forms of worship and other events in the church, the Alpha chair would be acceptable. This was also the view of the Deputy Chancellor, who granted a faculty for all the items, subject to two agreed amendments.

The priest in charge and churchwardens wished to introduce oak screening and cupboards at the east end of the north aisle of the church, to provide a storage area for chairs and other items.  There was one letter of objection, the objection being that if the storage area was constructed at the east end of the church, it would preclude the proposed installation in that area of a proposed toilet and kitchen facility. The petitioners' considered response was that the west end was the better option for that. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for the proposal and granted a faculty.

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 respect 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. Notwithstanding 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.

This judgment relates to five churches: St Michael and All Angels, Bexhill; All Saints, Danehill; St Matthew, St Leonards-on-Sea; St Mary, Balcombe;  and St John the Evangelist, Upper St Leonard. Each church had suffered lead theft. Four churches applied for faculties, and one for dispensation from faculty, to replace the roofing. The proposed replacement roofing in each case was Decothene (liquid plastic) or GRP. The Chancellor granted faculties and the requested dispensation from faculty.

The issue was as to whether refusal to grant an application to exhume and move a dead body would breach the applicant's human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The court decided that, although the refusal to exhume may interfere with the applicant's human rights, such an interference could be valid under the terms of the ECHR

Cyril Jones was buried in the churchyard of St. Margaret Orford in 1990. His widow, Esther, who died in 2015, was buried in Fox Covert Cemetery. Mrs. Jones, during her lifetime, realised that there would be no room for her to be buried with her husband, and she had expressed a strong wish to her family that she should be buried in the cemetery and that the family should arrange for her husband's remains to be moved and buried with her. The Chancellor granted a faculty for exhumation on the basis that "Mrs. Jones widow made a mistake in interring her late husband's remains in a full garden, a mistake which she regretted almost from the outset; secondly, that Mrs Jones delayed seeking exhumation on the grounds of her own personal belief that she felt that such would be inappropriate in her lifetime; and thirdly, there is now a desire to create a family grave."

This was an interim judgment relating to a petition whereby the petitioner sought authority to have the remains of her father, who died in 1976, exhumed and cremated, and then interred with the cremated remains of her mother, who died in 2016. It was proposed that the remains of the petitioner's parents should be taken and buried in a cemetery in Scotland

This judgment should be read in conjunction with In the matter of David Bell deceased [2016] ECC She 3, which was an interim judgment, where the Chancellor requested further evidence before making a decision as to whether to allow the exhumation and cremation of the remains of the petitioner's father, who died in 1976, and the interment of those remains

The petitioner, whose mother had died recently, wished to exhume his father's cremated remains from the parish where his father had spent his early childhood, and to inter the cremated remains of both his parents in a plot in the grounds of Rotherham Crematorium, opposite which his parents had lived for 45 years. During her lifetime the petitioner's mother had regretted her decision to have her husband's remains interred in the parish where he lived as a boy and had expressed the wish that her remains and those of her husband should be buried together in the cemetery they both knew so well. The Chancellor decided that this was a case where an exception should be made to the general rule against exhumation, and granted a faculty: "I consider that the reasons for granting it satisfy the Blagdon test of being exceptional and the Alsager test of there being a good and proper reason such that most right thinking members of the church would agree. I have cautioned myself against importing or introducing a concept of the remains of a deceased person being generally portable."

The deceased had been buried in a line of graves next to the churchyard footpath. It had been the practice for some years that bodies were interred with their heads to the west, next to the footpath, and their feet to the east (in accordance with the traditional practice), but that memorials were placed at the foot of each grave and facing the footpath. The petitioners were unhappy that the memorial to their relative was at the foot of the grave, and applied for permission to move the memorial to the head of the grave. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty: " ... it does not seem appropriate to me to grant the Petition because by doing so I would be interfering with a reasonable policy adopted by the PCC and ... imposed upon the relatives of all the other deceased buried in the area."