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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

Reordering

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The petitioners sought a faculty to allow a temporary reordering, authorised by the Archdeacon, to remain permanently. This included a children's area at the west end of the church, the removal of a large painting from the west wall, the permanent removal of six pews, and an information 'Hub'. There were four objectors, of whom one became a party opponent. The Chancellor concluded that the impact of the proposed changes on the appearance of the church would be modest, and that the proposals for providing information about the church to a growing population were appropriate. He accordingly granted a faculty.

The proposals were to re-order the west end of the church, including (1) replacement of the outer west doors;  (2) relocation of the inner west screen doors to the bay of an arch between the chancel and the Lady Chapel; (3) creation of an entrance foyer at the west end with inner and outer screens and mezzanine floor above; and  (4) relocation of the font and its cover from the west end to the north aisle. Faculty granted, subject to the base of the font (designed by G.E. Street, architect of the Royal Courts of Justice) being retained, rather than replaced with a larger base, as proposed in the petition.

The faculty proposed changes to the heating sytem, removal of the side aisle pews and introduction of upholstered chairs to match the chairs in the centre of the nave, which had been authorised in 2015 to replace the nave pews. The Victorian Society objected to more upholstered seating. The Chancellor concluded that, "It would not be reasonable to deny the petitioners more of the same sort of chair", and granted a faculty.

In 2016 the Archdeacon discovered that a toilet, within a roofless cubicle, had been installed without the grant of a faculty in the church vestry and that the arrangements for the drainage of sewage from the toilet had involved excavation into the ancient churchyard. It was later discovered that a kitchen sink unit and a wall mounted electric water heater had been installed without faculty inside a cupboard at the base of the church tower. All of the works were said to be of poor quality. The Archdeacon, the Secretary of the Diocesan Advisory Committee ("DAC") and the Diocesan Registrar endeavoured to get the District Church Council ("DCC") to carry out restoration works. Eventually a faculty petition was filed for the restoration works. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the church to be restored to its former condition and directed that the DCC should pay the Registry costs and the costs of the DAC employing counsel to advise in the matter.

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

The Faculty petition proposed a major reordering of a Grade II* church. The Victorian Society was a party opponent. The Chancellor approved the proposals generally, concluding that the benefits would outweigh any harm to the church. However, he was not prepared to approve the proposed red upholstered chairs. He therefore gave a stay of proceedings for 28 days, to allow for the petitioners to consider the judgment and put forward an alternative proposal for the chairs, which the Chancellor might find acceptable.

The faculty petition proposed a major reordering of the 13th century church, including removal of most of the pews and installation of a kitchen, which would support a proposed 'cafe hub'. The rationale for the proposals was to stem the decline of attendance at the church and encourage further church and community use, rather than risk closure. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for the changes and granted a faculty for all but one item in the proposals.

An application had been made for a restoration order following the removal of four pews and replacement of some pew platform boards. Although an application had been made for an Archdeacon's Licence for temporary re-ordering, the work had been done before the Licence had been issued, and therefore before the conditions attached to the Licence were known. The pews had received some minor damage during the course of their removal. The Commissary General decided to make a restoration order in respect of the pews (but not the platform boards), but suspend it for an initial period of four months to give the PCC an opportunity of consulting the amenity societies and the Diocesan Advisory Committee and applying for a Faculty to authorise a permanent re-ordering.

The proposals were to replace the pews with upholstered chairs; new floor coverings; a servery; and a disabled access toilet and baby-changing area. Historic England did not favour the complete removal of the Victorian pews and had concerns about the choice of chair. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty for the items, providing that the stackable chairs to replace the pews in the north aisle should be Howe 40/4 unupholstered chairs, and the two back nave pews shoud be put into storage.

Major re-ordering was proposed. Objection by the Victorian Society in relation to the physical and spatial impact of the scheme as a whole. Faculty granted.