Display:

The Dean of Arches granted leave to appeal against the decision of the Deputy Chancellor in Re Cheshunt Cemetery (No. 2) [2018] ECC StA 2 not to allow the exhumation of the cremated remains of the petitioners' baby son. Leave was granted on two grounds: (a) the Deputy Chancellor was wrong ... to categorise the Appellants’ case as “one of change of mind rather than a (potentially operative) type of mistake ... namely a lack of understanding as to the significance of interment in consecrated ground”; and (b) the Deputy Chancellor thereby failed to consider whether this mistake was capable of constituting exceptional circumstances within the law as laid down in Re Blagdon Cemetery [2002] Fam. 299 and/or to explain why this was not so.

The appellant's father died in 1981 and was cremated. His ashes were interred in
the Garden of Remembrance in the churchyard of Christ Church Alsager. The
appellant's mother died in 1995 and her body was buried in the same churchyard,
about 90 ft away from her husband's ashes. The appellant wanted his parents' remains to rest together in the same grave, and he therefore applied for the exhumation of his father's ashes, so that they could be put in his mother's grave. The Chancellor refused the petition and the appellant appealed. The decision of the Chancery Court of York was that when deciding a request for exhumation, the Chancellor should consider whether there was a good and proper reason for exhumation on a balance of probabilities, and the judgment sets out various circumstance which might be persuasive to allow an exhumation. However, in the present case the Court found that the Chancellor's decision was not in error: the father's remains had remained undisturbed for some 17 years, and the two places of interment were within the same consecrated curtilage and separated by only a very short distance. The appeal was accordingly dismissed.

The petition included extensive proposals to carry out re-ordering at the (liturgical but not geographical) west end of the church, where a considerable amount of re-ordering had taken place in the 1980s and 1990s. The Victorian Society objected to the replacement with glass doors of two pairs of partly-glazed wooden lobby doors at the Brixton Road entrance. Applying the Duffield principles, the Chancellor found that, "there is clear and convincing justification for the proposals in terms of the benefits to the mission of the church. The benefits outweigh the very limited harm which I have identified to the significance of the listed building." Faculty granted.

The Petition contained proposals for the complete re-wiring and the installation of new and emergency lighting within the Grade II listed church. The Chancellor was satisfied that the proposed works would not alter the Grade II church to such an extent as to be likely to affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and he accordingly granted a faculty.

There were two petitions before the Chancellor, the first relating to the moving of a painting from the reredos to  elsewhere in the church and repositioning an existing cross to take its place. The second petition related to the replacement of the font, which had not been used for 25 years, with a new portable font. There were substantial objections to the two petitions. The Chancellor granted a faculty for both items, subject, inter alia, to a condition that, if no other church could be found to take the font, it should be taken apart and buried in the churchyard.

The Petition sought to make permanent a temporary reordering carried out under an Archdeacon's licence: to relocate the altar to the nave; to remove two front pews (one from either side of the aisle) and making good the floor; and to install two portable communion rails. The Victorian Society and five parishioners objected to the proposals, but did not become parties to the proceedings. The Chancellor was satisfied that the changes did not make a significant impact on the character of the church, and that what small impact they made could be justified by the improvement of access and circulation.

Petition for re-ordering, including partial removal or shortening of pews; levelling of floor to improve access; installation of accessible WC; installation of “brew facilities”; installation of a glazed screen to create meeting/creche area; installation  of new heating system. Objections by Church Building Council to partial removal of pews and type of heating. Judgment given on the basis of written representations. Faculty granted.

Faculty granted for the recovering of the north aisle roof of the church with Sarnafil. Refusal by the Chancellor to accede to a request by English Heritage that the Faculty be limited to a period of 10 years.

Christ Church Fulwood is listed Grade II and has an average Sunday attendance over four services of 887. The proposed works included the creation of a courtyard in the churchyard, between the church and the road, in order to provide better access and a circulation area. There was also a proposal to replace the pipe organ with an electronic instrument in order to provide more seating space. The proposal for the new courtyard was opposed by a married couple, as there were some old family graves in the area affected by the proposal. The Church Buildings Council was "uncomfortable with the proposal to remove the pipe organ to replace it with an electronic instrument". The Chancellor granted a faculty for both items.

The petition proposed extensive reordering of the church and the creation of a link between the church and the church centre. The controversial item was a proposal to place a curtain wall behind the three arches at the front of the nave and to create within the then enclosed chancel (designed by the well-known church architect George Pace) a meeting room, an office and storage area on three floor levels. The Chancellor considered that the proposal would harm the special character of the building and that the petitioners should consider alternatively ways of finding the meeting, office and storage space they required. The Chancellor therefore granted a faculty which excluded the proposals for the chancel.