Judgment Search

Downloads

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 24 November 2021

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

Reordering

Display:

The Rector and Churchwardens petitioned for a faculty to authorise the removal of a large Victorian font and its platform from a position near to the main church door of a small medieval church and the placing of a new, much smaller font of Purbeck stone at the east end of the nave. The Chancellor granted a Faculty. As to a proposal to bury the old font, the Chancellor did not consider that appropriate and made the faculty subject to the following conditions: "(a) every reasonable attempt should be made to transfer the font to another church or chapel, (b) failing such transfer, museums should be contacted, (c) failing a museum, sale on the open market should be considered, (d) whatever disposal is contemplated, my prior consent will be required."

This was an appeal by the Victorian Society against the judgment of the Chancellor of Winchester Diocese of 12 March 2015, granting a faculty to replace the existing, Victorian font in the church with a new font made of Purbeck stone. The new font would be smaller than the Victorian font and would be installed on the south eastern, as opposed to south western, side of the nave. The Court decided that the Chancellor had erred and acted unfairly in his purported application of the written representations procedure, and that his judgment on the merits was flawed by several errors of law. Accordingly, the Court ordered that both his judgment and the resulting faculty be set aside.

The proposed works to the Grade II church involved a "a significant remodelling" of the porch. The Victorian Society, though not a party opponent, expressed strong objections that the works would involve the demolition of a “principal element” of the listed building, as the design would be so different from the original porch. Historic England expressed a preference for the porch being rebuilt close to its original design. The Diocesan Advisory Committee's only reservation was the proposed curtain heater over the door. The Chancellor determined that the benefits from the lighter and more comfortable and more welcoming internal arrangements which would result from the proposed glazing, outweighed the harm to the church’s special significance, and he therefore granted a faculty.

The Parochial Church Council and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu sought permission to re-establish a secure and permanent access to the vault beneath the Southampton Chapel in the church, to establish the condition of the substructure of the chapel and in particular the area supporting the Southampton Memorial in the Chapel, which commemorates the lives of members of the Wriothesley/Southampton family, many of whom were interred in the vault in the 16th-18th centuries. There had been some settlement of the monument in 1959. The vault formerly had two accesses, an external one, bricked up in 1899, and an access from inside the chapel, sealed up in the 1950s. Although the Church Buildings Council had concerns about the possible disturbance of human remains, the Chancellor was satisfied that the architect and others had made a good case for installing a new access from the chapel, to assist in monitoring the condition of the vault and chapel. He accordingly granted a faculty.

A petition was submitted for the removal of pews and the pew platforms from the church, to be replaced with chairs featuring upholstered seat and back pads, and to replace the existing heating with 30 wall-mounted radiators together with underfloor pipes all heated by a gas-fired boiler. The faculty was granted on the condition that as far as practicable gas would be supplied under a green tariff and carbon emissions caused by any non-renewable gas used are off-set. In respect of the removal of pews, four pews were to be retained and repositioned against the north and south walls; the increase in the area of wooden flooring to cover the current extent of the north and south aisles; and the provision that all the chairs would be covered in 'Espresso' upholstery, a dark brown to match the woodwork in the church.

The Petitioners wished to replace the Victorian pews with 64 solid chairs and 48 folding chairs (the folding chairs to be housed in three purpose-built wooden cabinets). The written representations of 25 objectors were taken into account. Amongst the evidence it was contended that the pews were of historical significance as they were thought to have been designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The Deputy Chancellor concluded that there was insufficient evidence to justify such contention. The Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty, subject (inter alia) to the retention of eight short pews.

A Faculty was granted to allow a temporary Post Office to be placed at the rear of the church, pending the provision of a new permanent Post Office site in the town.

The proposal was for the construction of a new extension to the north of the west end of the church, containing an accessible toilet, a store, a kitchen and a meeting room. The Church Buildings Council was concerned about the impact of the proposed extension on an adjacent 700+ years old yew tree, insofar as the proposed extension would affect about 25% of the 'root protection area'. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for the new facilities, but with great reluctance he decided that he was unwilling to grant a faculty for the work as proposed, due to the risk of harm to the 'veteran' yew, but he hoped that with the assistance of the Diocesan Advisory Committee the parish would be able to come up with a viable alternative scheme.

The original stone floor of the church was on a slope and the pew bases were at different heights. The proposal was to remove the pews and pew bases and install a new floor ‘floating’ above the original floor, to create a smooth, flat surface. The Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to the condition that the choice of chairs to replace the pews was to be overseen by the acting Archdeacon.

The petition proposed the reordering of the north aisle of the Grade II* Victorian church by the removal of 10 pews and the introduction of 30 new stacking chairs and 5 new stacking tables, in order to provide space for meetings for adults or children, the serving of food, musicians, parking of push-chairs and chair seating for services. The Victorian Society and Historic England submitted objections, but were not parties opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the public benefits that would arise from the proposals would outweigh the harm they would cause to the significance of the  building.