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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 20 January 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site.

Reordering

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There was an unopposed petition for re-ordering, including removing an existing extension on the north side of the church and constructing a spacious hallway, welcome area, toilets and store connected to the church through a new doorway into the narthex. Applying the criteria laid down in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2013] Fam 158, the Chancellor determined that any harm to the Grade II listed building would be slight, and accordingly granted a Faculty.

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.

This was an application for a faculty to install a stained glass window in the Grade II church in memory of the late husband of the church organist. The deceased had been a farmer, and the design (recommended by the Diocesan Advisory Committee) included "two doves and an owl, a small figure in silhouette, possibly sowing in a broadcast fashion, and a donkey and rabbit, with a tree in leaf and on the branches the words: ‘Lord make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred let me sow love’". The Church Buildings Council was of the opinion that this design would not sit well with the other stained glass windows, depicting single figures in a more traditional design. However, the Chancellor determined to grant a faculty. There was a memorial inscription on the proposed window. The Chancellor did not consider that he had to treat an application for a memorial window in the same way as an application for a memorial in church (i.e., the deceased had made some outstanding contribution to the life of the church, the community or the nation).

The petition proposed various reordering works to the Grade II church, including work on galleries and staircases and the provision of a lift and meeting rooms; and the sale of a painting from around 1600. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for reordering works, and that the public benefit would outweigh such harm as would be occasioned to the building. He granted a faculty or the items of reordering, but reserved judgment on the sale of the painting pending further representations, including as to whether there should be an open court hearing.

The Petitioners wished to remove four pews, two from each side of the main aisle of the church nave, in order to provide a larger space for nave communions and village events, such as concerts. The Chancellor decided that any harm to the significance of the Grade II* listed building by the proposed removal would be ‘low’, but he only authorised the removal of three of the pews, as he considered that the removal of the fourth pew would provide very little extra space.

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'.

There was a proposal for reordering in the unlisted church, built in the 1950s, to include removal of the black and white composite tiles and laying of carpet; replacement of the pews with chairs; and removal of two prayer desks. At a site visit the Chancellor saw that the floor tiles had already been removed and replaced with carpet, the pews had been removed, and there was a mixture of upholstered chairs in poor condition. Notwithstanding the unlawfulness of the works being carried our without prior lawful authority, the Chancellor was satisfied that the church would be enhanced by the proposed changes. He granted a faculty for all the works (except for the removal of one of the prayer desks), providing for the chairs already in the church to be replaced with 110 Vesta stacking chairs, with chrome frames and upholstery in a pewter colour.

A parishioner objected to a proposal to introduce a new lighting scheme into the 13th century Grade II* church, but he chose not to become a party opponent. The Chancellor considered the parishioner's eight grounds of objection and considered that none of them provided a reason for refusing the grant of a faculty.

A faculty was sought for major re-ordering of an unlisted Victorian church, including relocation of the font, replacement of pews with chairs, re-flooring, new kitchen and toilets and relocation of a screen. The Church Buildings Council and the Diocesan Advisory Committee approved the proposals, and Historic England supported the Victorian Society, who approved the proposals subject to agreed amendments. A faculty was granted.

A faculty had been granted in 2016 to authorise extensive reordering works in the church. The faculty had authorised (inter alia) solid wood Rosehill chairs. The petitioners now wished, after the extended period for completion of the works had elapsed, to introduce Alpha chairs with wooden backs and upholstered seats. The Chancellor refused to grant such variation to the faculty granted in 2016, so as now to allow part-upholstered chairs, but indicated that he would be prepared to consider a further application for variation in respect of one of the alternative solid wood chairs suggested by the church's inspecting architect prior to the 2016 faculty.