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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.



The chancel of the church is only used for daily prayer and for fortnightly coffee mornings. The works proposed were the introduction of radiators and additional carpeting, to make the chancel more comfortable on the occasions when it is used. It was also proposed to create a new bell-ringing floor in the tower, in order to create a disabled toilet and kitchen at the base of the tower. There were letters of objection from two bell-ringers in respect of this item. The Chancellor decided that any impact on the bell-ringers should not outweigh the benefits of providing appropriate toilet and refreshment facilities. He accordingly granted a faculty.

In October 2014 the Chancellor had granted a faculty for certain works, including the replacement of pews with chairs. It was a condition of the faculty that "No order shall be placed for the new nave chairs/pews until their design has been either agreed with the DAC, English Heritage and the Victorian Society or approved by the Chancellor." In September 2016, the PCC, without approval, ordered 50 chairs which had matt gold coloured metal frames, with seats and backs of a rich brown faux leather. Upon hearing of this, Historic England and the Victorian Society objected to the choice of chair. The petitioners applied for a confirmatory faculty limited to ten years. Mindful of the huge cost the PCC had incurred in the reordering, and that the justification outweighed the harm in this case, the Chancellor determined to grant a faculty for 10 years, requiring the PCC before the end of such period to put forward proposals for some alternative chairs.

The reordering proposals for the Grade I church included: (a) removal and disposal of all pews, except five older 'pauper' pews to the west end of the north aisle; (b) introduction of upholstered chairs; (c) repairs to the nave floor; (d) replacement of existing carpet; (e) installation of an oak storage unit; and (f) replacement of the overhead heaters. The Victorian Society argued that the removal of all the pews would adversely affect the visual impact of the interior, and it had concerns about upholstered chairs. However, the evidence was that the pews were of poor quality wood and were riddled with worm and unrepairable. The Chancellor granted a faculty on the understanding that only the seats of the proposed chairs would be upholstered and in a neutral colour.

A faculty was sought for extensive reordering works. Part of the reason for the works was to allow the church to be used by the local Church of England school in particular and the community in general. The Victorian Society objected to the the laying of the proposed wooden floor, which would involve removing some Victorian floor tiles. The Church Buildings Council objected to the proposed new position for the font. Both the Victorian Society and the Church Buildings Council objected to the proposed new pew benches being upholstered. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to a condition that the new pew benches should not be upholstered, but may have separate cushions, subject to the material being approved by the court.

The proposal was to retain permanently a Hauptwerk digital organ (belonging to Wakefield Cathedral), which was introduced into the church under an Archdeacon’s Licence for temporary minor re-ordering. The church already had a faculty in place for the removal and disposal of the pipe organ, with the proviso of having a suitable replacement option. Although the Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the proposal, the Chancellor granted a faculty: "I am satisfied that the petitioners have discharged the burden on them of displacing the presumption that the Harrison and Harrison organ should be replaced with a pipe-organ. I am satisfied that they have considered the merits and demerits of alternatives to their preferred Hauptwerk solution, particularly the relative costs, and that their proposal is in all the circumstances a reasonable one in terms of their wishes, needs and resources."

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the installation of a retractable screen to be placed over the chancel arch of the church, being satisfied that this would be preferable to the current arrangement of standing a portable screen on boxes at the front of the nave, and that the works were likely to bring benefits which outweighed the general presumption that change should not be permitted.

The Parochial Church Council ("PCC") wished to carry out extensive repairs and reordering of the church, and the current petition dealt with the first phase. The only controversial items were the replacement of the Bosley pews with upholstered, metal-framed chairs and the laying of carpet in the church nave. The Chancellor was satisfied that a case had been made for the replacement of the pews with chairs - there was no church hall and the PCC wished to provide a more flexible space to meet the needs of a new community of 1200 houses to be built near the church. However, he had reservations about the proposed metal chairs and required the PCC to propose a type of wooden chair. The Chancellor approved the carpet on the basis that it would be a temporary measure until some more satisfactory hard flooring solution could be implemented, as part of the overall scheme.

The petition proposed a new, large moveable altar (to be placed at the junction of the chancel and the nave), an altar platform and new Communion rails, the removal of the mediaeval screen (to make way for the nave altar) and the removal of choir stalls and pews in the chancel, the moving of the pulpit and the removal of the lectern, and other items. Thirty-six parishioners objected to the removal of the mediaeval screen, which contained a complete set of paintings of the twelve Apostles. The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty for the removal of the screen, but indicated that he would look favourably on a proposal to site the new altar in the nave, in front of the screen, albeit that might involve removing some pews. He granted a faculty for the other items.

The petitioners sought a faculty for the retention on a permanent basis of various works carried out under faculty, for a limited period, to reorder the church, including: reordering some pews at the west end; moving the organ;  a new heater; remodelling of the pulpit; altering the communion rail; removing the choir stalls; making the existing altar moveable; and reordering the vestry. The Chancellor determined that the works were necessary and appropriate and he granted a faculty.

The churchwardens petitioned for a faculty to authorise the removal of the existing cast iron radiators and pipework in the church, the introduction of six convector heaters, and the introduction of an insulated ceiling in the vestry. The Diocesan Advisory Committee did not recommend the proposed insulated ceiling, stating that the vestry space was not a large one to heat; "the proposed ceiling would hide the timbers of the roof structure which, although not medieval, are substantial looking timbers with pegged joints"; and "the proposed ceiling may make the room feel 'claustrophobic' for those using it." The vestry was used by the parish priest as an office and the insulated ceiling had been proposed in order to prevent heat from the small heater being lost upwards to the high ceiling. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made out a case of need,  and that the work would not cause damage to the fabric and was reversible. He accordingly granted a faculty.