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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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The intention of the proposals was to improve on a scheme of reordering in 1988, by providing at the west end of the church a larger circulation area near the main door; meeting space; toilet facilities for the disabled; an entrance meeting disablility standards; a kitchen and servery; and a storage area. The Chancellor was satisfied that the majority of the works would result in an improvement to the interior of the church and he granted a faculty for all the items, with the exception of the proposed wheelchair lift at the entrance, which he connsidered 'would have a somewhat utilitarian feel to it'.

Faculty granted for construction of a single storey extension to incorporate a kitchenette and disabled toilet, and associated works.

The proposals included: (1) replacing the iron gates to the porch with glazed sliding doors; (2) new porch lighting and glazing of one porch window to match the other; (3) relocation of the internal 1906 wooden lobby to the west end of the south aisle and its conversion to storage space; and (4) removal of a pew in the south aisle to allow the relocation of the lobby; and (5)) replacement of the ramp inside the lobby with a new ramp with handrails. The Chancellor granted a faculty for items (1) and (2), but not item (3) (the relocation of the lobby) as proposed, in consequence of which items (4) and (5) were not approved.

The petitioners wished to remove the church pews and replace them with ICS stacking chairs of solid oak with an oak veneered plywood seat and back. The Victoria Society objected to the proposal, but was not a party opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that a very low degree of harm to the church would result from the removal of the pews, which would be substantially outweighed by the public benefit that would be achieved by their replacement. He accordingly granted a faculty.

The petition proposed the reordering of the west end of the church, including: adding a ceiling to the vestry; replacing the current extension with a larger extension containing two toilets and baby-changing facilities; removing one row of pews in the nave; and removing two pews under the organ gallery and installing in their stead a servery/kitchenette and seating area; and works in the south aisle by way of the repositioning of an effigy. The Georgian Society and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings objected to the removal of two pews from under the organ gallery. The Chancellor was satisfied that any harm caused by the proposed works to the church’s special significance was only moderate, and he granted a faculty.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for (1) the removal of two rows of pews at the west end of the church, in order to create an area of more flexible use; (2) the provision of kitchen facilities in the vestry; (3) a hatch in the vestry screen; and (4) various electrical works.

The church had been seriously damaged by fire in December 2018, and the petitioners saw the restoration of the church as an opportunity to carry our some reordering to meet the future needs of the parish. In the wake of the fire there had been an interim faculty granted for the storage of the pews in the chancel until reinstatement or disposal. The petitioners now requested a faculty for the removal of the fire and water damaged pew platforms, disposal of the pews and a new floor. New seating would be the subject of a separate petition. The Victorian Society objected to the disposal of the pews. (Almost half the original Victorian pews had in fact been removed over time.) The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the benefits of removing the pews and pew platforms outweighed any harm to the church's significance and its aesthetic and
architectural qualities.

An extensive programme of reordering was proposed. There were several written objections, but only one party opponent. The Chancellor authorised in principle the majority of the proposals, subject to detailed designs, specifications and costings being approved by the Court or the Diocesan Advisory Committee, and subject to no work being undertaken until 90% of the cost of the works (including fees) had been raised or promised. The remaining items would have to be the subject of further petitions in the light of the current decision.

In 2015, the Chancellor had granted a faculty to authorise several items as part of an ambitious programme of reordering. The present petition sought approval of the four remaining items which the Chancellor did not approve in 2015, namely, installation of a new wooden floor with underfloor heating; the alteration of some pews and the disposal of others; the screening of the vestry; and the introduction of a kitchenette, WC and upper room in the north transept. The Chancellor approved the new flooring and underfloor heating. He did not authorise the new details of the proposed vestry screening, or the kitchenette, WC and upper room, as there needed to be consultation with the local planning authority, Historic England and the Victorian Society. As the proposal regarding the pews had changed, so as to request now permission to remove two-thirds of them, again the Chancellor required the matter to be the subject of a separate petition with further consultation.

In 2015 the parish had embarked on an extensive set of reordering proposals, which had been the subject of faculty petitions in 2015 and 2017.The present application requested an amendment to the 2017 faculty. The petitioners now wished to replace some of the pews with the Alpha SB2M chair, a metal-framed chair upholstered in a beige, wipeable, stain-resistant fabric, instead of the Theo (all wood) chair which had originally been proposed. The Victorian Society argued that a metal-framed upholstered chair would not fit in with the remaining pews. The Chancellor took the view that "no modern chair, however designed, will match a Victorian pew", and he could see "no particular basis for a general rule against upholstered chairs in listed churches." He granted permission for either chair to be installed.