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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 4 June 2020

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Reordering

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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.

Determination of two petitions on written representations in respect of a Victorian Grade 1 church (14 of its 15 stained glass windows designed by Edmund Burne-Jones and made by William Morris and company). The first petition sought permission to remove and dispose of two pews from the front of each side section of pews and relocate the pew frontals; to remove and dispose of three pews from the rear of each section of pews; to remove pew platform, level floor and re-carpet; to remove redundant piping from centre aisle; to remove and dispose of redundant parts of the existing sound system; to relocate sound desk to rear of pews; to install new sound desk equipment and audio-visual equipment. The second petition sought a faculty to authorise the introduction of a circular votive candle stand. Faculty granted in respect of each petition.

The petitioners wished to remove a small number of pews and pew frontals from the Grade I church, install some handrails and improve the lighting. The controversial item was the removal of two pew frontals from the front of the church. The reasons for the proposals were to make areas of the church more accessible for people in wheelchairs and to extend areas where special events could be held, such as children’s events, music groups, serving of food, group meetings. The Victorian Society and Historic England were concerned about the removal of the two pew frontals at the front of the nave. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a case for the changes, but made it a condition of the faculty that arrangements would be made to store the frontals inside the church or elsewhere.

The proposals included the building of an extension adjoining the north-west corner of the church; the reordering of the west end of the nave (including the erection of a meeting room; the moving of the font to the middle of the south aisle; and the removal of pews from the south aisle, in order to create a flexible space. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

A proposed reordering of the parish church included the removal of all the pews and their replacement with upholstered wooden chairs. The Victorian Society were not in favour of the removal of all the pews, and Historic England, whilst not objecting to the replacement of all the pews, objected to the chairs being upholstered, but if they were to be upholstered the fabric should be of a neutral colour. The Chancellor granted a faculty for (inter alia) the replacement of all the pews with upholstered chairs, provided that the fabric would be of a neutral colour, rather than the red colour originally proposed.

The proposed reordering works included: a two floor narthex at the rear of the Church; moving of the screen and suspended rood; moving the font; extending a dais across the nave; disposal of surplus pews; revision of heating and lighting; and levelling of the nave floor. Retrospective approval of a new piano was also sought. There were twelve parties opponent. However, the Chancellor was satisfied that a case had been made for all the items with the exception of moving the suspended rood, and he granted a faculty accordingly. 

The petition proposed the following works of reordering: (1) install access ramp to south door (2) introduce entrance lobby to south entrance (3) remove 2 pews at west end of south aisle and install disabled WC (4) re-order west end (5) upgrade kitchen facilities and (5) install a trench arch system with gravel and paved pathway over. There were objections to the moving of the pews and the access to the WC. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners have made out a case for their proposals and he accordingly granted a faculty.

The proposals were to remove two pews and book boards from the west end of the nave, to re-site the font centrally in the west bay of the nave, to introduce kitchen cupboards against the north wall of the tower, to introduce display units and cupboards at the west end of both aisles and to do various works in the vestry. There were objections to the moving of the font and the loss of some pews. The Chancellor determined that the proposals were both necessary and appropriate and granted a faculty.