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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 24 November 2021

Index by Dioceses of 2021 judgments on this web site, as at 24 November 2021

Reordering

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There was an application for a faculty to remove five notice boards  from the church porch and replace them with free-standing notice boards at the back of the church; also the disposal of some pews, the shortening of two pews, and the permanent relocation of other pews allowed under an Archdeacon's Licence for temporary reordering. The Chancellor, applying the guidance in Re St. Alkmund Duffield [2013], determined that the degree of harm to the church would not be significant, and that the public benefit of the works would outweigh any harm. He accordingly granted a faculty.

The petitioners sought a confirmatory faculty for works carried out some years before, including two areas of temporary reordering at the east end of the nave and the east end of the south aisle, the introduction of a grand piano, the removal of pews at the west end of the north aisle to allow for the introduction of a timber carving of the nativity by Graham Clarke and the making permanent of an audio visual installation. The Commissary General granted a faculty, subject to a condition, inter alia, that the petitioners should discuss with the Diocesan Advisory Committee ways of mitigating the visually intrusive reflective aspect of the audio-visual screens.

The petitioners sought a faculty for an extensive re-ordering and refurbishment of the Grade II church. There were seventy objectors, of whom three became parties opponent. The Chancellor approved the proposals relating to reordering of the West Gallery; demolition of the redundant boiler house and building of an extension to provide a meeting room, kitchen and toilet facilities; reordering of the Chancel; glazing to the South Door; and refurbishment of the pulpit, but felt that the petitioners had not made out a sufficient case to justify the remaining items, including reordering of the pews; relocation and reordering of the font; removal of the pulpit; and removal of the organ.

The 2010 Faculty for reordering was amended to allow for certain consequential works, which included approval for the remodelling of the pulpit steps.

The Petitioner sought permission to move the font to a position in an area immediately to the west side of the main entrance to the church in the north wall and to remove three pews and install a redundant choir stall frontal in order to create a Baptistery area around the repositioned font. (This was a different proposal to the one contained in the 2010 petition for reordering.) The Chancellor decided to grant a faculty, as the proposal would fit in with and complement the changes for which permission had already been given.

In 2011 the petitioners applied for approval (which was granted) for the remodelling of the pulpit steps, having been refused in 2010 a faculty for the removal of the pulpit. They now applied for permission to permanently remove the pulpit from the church. The pulpit had in fact already been removed from the church in 2012 without authority. Reminding the petitioners of the rule of law, and that the removal of the pulpit was unlawful, the Chancellor determined that the arguments for removing the pulpit had not changed since 2010, when he refused to grant a faculty for the removal of the pulpit, and accordingly he now refused again to grant a faculty for its removal.

In 2011, the Archdeacon granted a licence for temporary re-ordering, which included removal of the nave and choir pews to storage. In 2012 a faculty petition sought authority for this arrangement to be made permanent. The Chancellor authorised the permanent removal of the nave pews, but decided that, to give further time for experimentation, consideration of the permanent removal of the choir pews should be deferred and be the subject of a petition at a later date, if the petitioners still wished the choir pews not to be restored to the choir.

In 2011, the Archdeacon granted a licence for temporary re-ordering, which included removal of the nave and choir pews to storage. In 2012 a faculty petition sought authority for this arrangement to be made permanent. The Chancellor authorised the permanent removal of the nave pews, but decided that, to give further time for experimentation, consideration of the permanent removal of the choir pews should be deferred and be the subject of a petition at a later date, if the petitioners still wished the choir pews not to be restored to the choir. In 2015 a petition proposed returning the choir pews, but to the Lady Chapel, instead of to the choir. Faculty granted. 

The Chancellor decided that the proposed new wall-to-wall carpet and the 'bland', black chairs were inappropriate for a Grade II* and important Victorian church in the centre of Brighton, but he granted a limited licence for five years, requiring the petitioners at the end of such period to produce more appropriate long-term proposals.

The petition proposed the formation of a new meeting room/children’s area, enclosed by timber and glass; removal of some pews in the nave, the nave aisle and the south aisle, and their replacement with chairs; lowering the raised pew platforms in these areas; disposal of a timber screen to the St. John’s Chapel; and alterations to heating and electrical systems, including the replacement of the existing boiler with a new oil fired boiler. There was one party opponent, objecting to the removal of some of the pews and to the meeting room. The Deputy Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had provided sufficient justification for the works and granted a faculty. As regards costs, the Deputy Chancellor determined that the party opponent had behaved unreasonably in certain aspects of the proceedings and directed that the party opponent should reimburse the petitioners 50% of the court costs attributable to the progression of the case to an oral hearing and 50% of the petitioners' inter partes costs, namely their counsel's fees.