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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 petition sought approval for major re-ordering, including the replacement of the pews with chairs. Faculty granted. Applying the principles laid down in Re St. Alkmund, Duffield [2013] Fam 158, the Chancellor was satisfied that there was clear and convincing justification for carrying out the proposals.

The petitioners wished to construct a timber-framed, self-contained chapel, in the north aisle of the church, which could be heated economically, the replacement of the failed Victorian heating system being too costly. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the benefits would outweigh the harm to the special architectural and historic interest of the Grade I listed church. Also, the structure would not alter the fabric into which it was inserted and could be easily removed in the future.

The petitioners wished to remove seven rows of pews in the north aisle of the church and replace them with some existing upholstered chairs in storage, in order to allow a more flexible use of the space. The Victorian Society objected that the upholstered chairs were not suitable for the Grade I listed church. The Chancellor concluded that the introduction of the chairs would cause only moderate harm to the church, and that this harm would be outweighed by the resulting public benefit. He accordingly granted a faculty.

The Vicar and Churchwardens requested a faculty for the disposal of a tenor bell dated 1600, which became redundant when a new set of six bells was installed in 2009. The proposal was that the bell should be sold to a local arts charity, which had used the bell with the permission of the Chancellor as a centrepiece for an arts festival in Folkestone, and that conditions should be imposed onteh sale that if no longer required by the arts charity, the bell should not be scrapped or exported, but should be offered to a museum, and in default of a museum being willing to take it, the bell should be given to Taylor's bell foundry in Loughborough. The Chancellor considered that such conditions imposed on a sale would be unenforceable, and suggested that the petitioner's consider applying for a faculty to simply lend the bell to the Folkestone arts charity.

The Chancellor authorised the removal of a block of pews from the north-west corner on the Grade II* Victorian church, in order to allow the installation of a disabled toilet and a servery.

Faculty sought for the conversion of the existing vestry into a toilet and tea-point, together with the provision of vestry facilities within the base of the tower. Objections to conversion of the vestry received. Faculty granted.

There were two petitions seeking to carry out substantial reordering in the church. The Georgian Group and the Victorian Society had objections, but did not become parties opponent. There were no other objections. The proposals included: clearing the existing furniture from the chancel and placing a new altar in the middle of the chancel, with new furniture around it; removal of a number of rows of pews; replacing the organ; creating a narthex/hall area. The Chancellor was satisfied that the need for the scheme outweighed any harm it would cause to the building, and he therefore granted a faculty.

The proposals were for a reordering of the north aisle by removing the pews and lowering the Victorian softwood timber pew platforms to the same level as the ceramic tiled gangways, to create a large area for multi-functional use. Provision was to be made for the installation of a servery and cupboards, and for the area to be rewired and a new lighting system installed. The petition contained no proposals for replacing the removed pews with chairs. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made a case for the reordering, but declined to grant a faculty until the design, make and number of replacement chairs for the north aisle had been approved by the court.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the replacement of the pews in the centre of the church nave and the chairs in the north and south aisles with new wooden chairs having upholstered seats and backs. The judgment contains a discussion by the Chancellor on the nature of the Church Buildings Council Guidance on Seating and its application.

There was a petition by the Vicar and Churchwardens seeking permission to convert a fixed lavabo in the sanctuary of a nineteenth century church for use as an aumbry. The Chancellor granted a Faculty. Although the petition was unopposed, the Chancellor decided to give a detailed written judgment, in order to explain his reasoning, particularly with regard to the questions raised in the Court of Arches judgment Re St. Alkmund Duffield, and their application to the subject matter of the present petition.