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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.



In 2017 an Archdeacon's licence for temporary reordering was granted to allow the removal to storage of four pews and one pew frontal from the west end of the north side of the nave. The petitioners now sought permission to make the removal permanent, as it had facilitated use of the area for activities with children during services, for the taking of refreshments after services and for the positioning of wheelchairs. There was an objection from a parishioner. The Chancellor was satisfied that good reason had been shown to justify the proposal, and he accordingly granted a faculty.

The proposals were to complete a small kitchen/servery within a cupboard at the west end of the north aisle of the church; to remove some pews from the north aisle, to create a multi-purpose area, and to use wood from the removed pews for the servery cupboard; and to carry out some internal redecoration. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to conditions that (a) some form of ventilation, to be approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee, should be provided to protect the memorials next to the kitchen/servery and (b) any chairs chosen to replace the pew seating removed should be the subject of a separate faculty petition and consultation with the amenity societies.

The Vicar and churchwardens sought permission to re-order the chancel area of the Grade II Victorian church by removing and disposing of the rear choir stalls and replacing them with the front stalls, carrying out some modifications to enlarge the leg-room available, making good any exposed tiles and laying carpet across the widened chancel aisle to match the nave aisle carpet. The object of the proposals was to make the use of the church by the children of the village school more convenient and effective and also increase the possibilities of using the building for concerts and community events. The Victorian Society objected to the covering of the Minton tiles with carpet. The Chancellor approved the proposals and granted a faculty.

The Chancellor granted a faculty to allow the installation of a projector screen in a housing over the chancel arch of the church and a fixed projector, to replace the existing arrangement of erecting a portable screen and placing a portable projector on a flower stand in the pews. He based his decision on the grounds of visibility and safety. The Chancellor was satisfied that, "The impact on the appearance of the church will be modest and the benefits to be obtained by the proposed works are sufficient to overcome the presumption against change."

The proposals were to alter the floor levels inside and outside the south porch and adjust the doors, to improve access for those with disabilities; to create a new doorway in the north wall, as a fire escape, and to remove and dispose of the pipe organ from the place where the new fire door would be inserted, with the intention of later installing an electronic organ. There were six letters of objection, and the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend of the disposal of the organ. The Chancellor granted a faculty for the works to the porch and the new fire exit door, but he was not satisfied that it was appropriate to authorise the removal of the pipe organ at this stage, as possible relocation of the organ within the church had not been fully explored, nor the alternative of replacing the organ with a smaller pipe organ, and the petition did not request authority for the installation of a particular electronic organ.

The petitioners wished to remove two rows of pews from the west end of the nave of the church, in order to create space for church and community activities. The Chancellor was satisfied that it was appropriate to grant a faculty. The church would remain predominantly pewed and any harm to the special significance of the Grade I church would be modest and would be outweighed by the potential benefits.

The Petitioners sought a faculty for the rebuilding and restoration of the organ in the nineteenth century Grade II listed church. An organs adviser from the Church Buildings Council advised against the planing of the pedal keys, the replacement of the ivories, and the stripping of the front pipes before their repainting. The Chancellor determined to grant a faculty for the proposed works, but without imposing the conditions recommended by the organs adviser.

An application had been made by a private individual for a restitution order against the Archdeacon, requiring him to replace the pews which had been removed from the church in the summer of 2020, on the grounds that their removal was not permitted by a licence for temporary minor reordering, and was therefore unlawful. The Archdeacon had not actually given permission for the pews to be removed. They had been removed by the Churchwardens and Parochial Church Council (PCC), who subsequently undertook to return the pews to the church in October 2021, but did not do so until December 2021. The Commissary General gave directions for the Archdeacon to be removed as the respondent and replaced by the Churchwardens and PCC. The Commissary General also considered it appropriate, in the interests of certainty, to issue a restitution order, and he directed that the new respondents should pay the costs of the application and of the hearing.

The incumbent and churchwardens applied for a faculty to permit various items of reordering in order to provide facilities in the church for a wide range of church and community events in what is a fairly isolated village. The proposals included 2 WCs, a "kitchen pod", a new staircase and ringing floor, new cupboards, replacement of the pews with wooden unupholstered chairs, moving of the font, new underfloor heating, new flooring, new lighting, solar panels, an air source heat pump, and new water and sewage services. A local objector claimed that no detailed costings had been carried out, and he challenged the assumptions about community use. The amenity societies involved had reservations about the kitchen facilities being enclosed, because of the impact of the walls on the surrounding church fabric. The Chancellor granted a faculty, to enable the petitioners to move forward with obtaining funding, but he reserved a decision as to whether the kitchen facilities should be enclosed or not until he had visited the church and made a final decision.

The proposals were to increase the size of the stage upon which the altar was situated; to install a new screen for the projector; and to move the Cross from its present position to the left side of the church, as it would otherwise be partially blocked by the new screen. There was one objection to the proposed repositioning of the Cross. The objector suggested an alternative position, which was agreed by the Parish, and a facutlty was granted for the Cross to be moved along the wall towards the stage opposite the entrance door, so that it would be viewed clearly when entering the worship area.