Judgment Search


Click on one of the following to view and/or download the relevant document:

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

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site.



The proposals included removal of the choir stalls and pulpit; introduction of a nave dais to allow a forward altar; the addition of a second screen to the wall behind the present pulpit to match the existing screen on the south side of the church; two flat screen monitors to the chancel; two loudspeakers in the chancel; and relocation of the AV control desk to the rear of the church. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the pulpit and choir stalls. Faculty granted by the Chancellor, being satisfied that "in order to provide a living church, meeting the pastoral and liturgical needs of the current population, this reordering needs to take place."

The faculty petition proposed several items of reordering. The Victorian Society (which did not become a party opponent) was concerned about the effect of the removal of both the front and rear choir stalls and desks from the chancel. The Chancellor was concerned that no firm proposals had been put forward regarding what would replace the choir stalls and desks and how the walls behind them would be treated. He granted a faculty for all the items of reordering, apart from the removal of all the choir pews and desks. But he gave permission for the removal of the front rows of choir pews and desks, to give time for the petitioners to review the effect of the partial removal of the pews and desks. If they wished to remove the rear pews and desks, then they would have to make a further application to the Chancellor, with detailed proposals for replacement furniture.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the extension of the church (which was built in 1966 and is unlisted) and internal reordering, in order to provide more worship space and space for meetings; to provide a café/drop-in style meeting place; and to alter the appearance of the exterior to create a more attractive and welcoming entrance.

Notwithstanding his concerns that there had not been adequate consultation during the faculty process, the Chancellor granted a faculty for reordering, which included the creation of a new vicar’s vestry in the Parish Centre; rearrangement of the west end of the church, including the removal of 6 pews, to provide additional storage, the serving of refreshments after services, and a larger meeting space.

The petitioners were the priest in charge and a churchwarden of an unlisted church built in 1974. Their proposal was to remove 18 pews and introduce 100 wooden chairs with red upholstery. The DAC did not recommend the proposal, stating that the chairs were heavy and would be difficult to move, and the dark red upholstered chairs would be detrimental to the light levels and appearance of the church interior. At a visit to the church and to a neighbouring church, which already had the same type of chair as that proposed, the Chancellor was satisfied that the chairs were not too heavy or difficult to stack. Moreover, the existing pews (acquired from another church) were painted with a yellowish colour and were looking chipped and tired, and they easily slid on the parquet floor, if leaned on. The Chancellor was satisfied that the chairs were a better and more comfortable alternative to the pews and he therefore granted a faculty.

Having already granted a faculty to authorise the replacement of pews with chairs and the removal and disposal of the pulpit and the font, the Chancellor delivered this judgment to explain his reasons for granting the faculty. The reason for the proposals was to enable the church to accommodate two children's groups which had previously met in a now dilapidated building in the churchyard. The pews were plain and had no particular value historically or artistically; the pulpit  was freestanding and not original to the building, being dated 1924; and the font had been heavily painted with a matt cream paint which had obscured its decorative features. Neither the pulpit nor the font were of historic value.

A faculty was sought for the installation of glazed timber screening to the south side transept chapel; disabled access to the chapel; and a new heating system; as well as a confirmatory faculty for the installation of a Frank Bodley reredos above the altar, which had been donated from a redundant church in Liverpool. The Chancellor granted a faculty. He was satisfied that the screening of the chapel, whilst constituting some modest harm to the building, would not cause a significant impact, and the work would be reversible in the future, if the need arose. Also, any harm would be outweighed by the benefit of having a useful small worship or meeting space which was economic to heat.

The petitioners applied for permission to carry out some reordering works, which included the removal of three areas of pews, additional storage cupboards and the introduction of stackable chairs. The Victorian Society (which did not seek to be a party opponent) objected that the stackable chairs would "cause gratutitous harm" to the Grade I listed church. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for the proposals and accordingly granted a faculty.

The proposal was to remove the pews from the church and replace them with chairs from the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool. The church is an elaborately-decorated Victorian church listed Grade II*, though from an inspection the Chancellor describes the pews as "not in a particularly good condition, certainly not ergonomically comfortable or efficient, but certainly simple in form". The church had gone through a period of decline, but was now developing with a mission for outreach, and wished to provide a more flexible space for a number of activities, including the hosting of food banks, messy church, arts projects, plays and concerts. The Chancellor concluded that the removal of the pews would not result in any particular harm to the significance of the building and its special architectural or historic interest, and that there would be substantial benefits to the church. He therefore granted a faculty.

The petitioners sought permission to undertake some internal works to create toilets (including disabled), a kitchen area and a small vestry and office in the Grade II* listed church. The Victorian Society argued that the curved wall of the proposed vestry and office "pod" would be at odds with the design of the church. However, the Chancellor concluded that any harm caused by the construction would be minimal, and not intrusive. He granted a faculty, subject to a condition that, in order to make the curved wall less obtrusive, the architect should consider the feasibility of suitable panelling of a style and colour to match that in place under the adjacent organ pipes.