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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022

Index by Dioceses of 2022 judgments on this web site as at 1 October 2022



Proposals for reordering related principally to the south aisle of the church, which is wider than the nave. The church has a Grade I listing, and is described as "heavily pewed". The main proposal was to remove the pews from the south aisle and replace them with stackable, chrome-framed, upholstered chairs, in order to provide greater and more flexible use of the south aisle, the church not having a church hall. The Chancellor was satisfied that the benefits to the church of replacing the pews outweighed any harm caused by their, and therefore granted a faculty for the replacement of the pews. However, he did not grant permission for chrome-framed chairs, but approved stackable Howe 40/4 chairs in oak frames, which had been considered as an alternative, but were more expensive. Appended to the judgment are further directions regarding the approval of Theo oak stacking chairs made by Chorus.

The faculty petition proposed the disposal of a wooden lectern. The petitioning churchwarden stated that the lectern was not being used, was unlikely to be used again, and was merely taking up space. The lectern bore an inscription to say that it had been given by a significant benefactor of the church in memory of her brother, who was a priest, but who had spent no part of his ministry in the parish. He had died in 1925. The Church Buildings Council recommended that, ‘as a good furnishing that has a long association with the church, this should be retained. The Council recognised it was redundant in terms of use but deemed it to be a high quality item and of interest as a memorial.’ The Chancellor refused to grant a faculty.

The petitioners applied for a Faculty to permit the early nineteenth century reredos, which had been temporarily removed, to be permanently removed from its original position in front of the East window and relocated to hang above the doorway in the centre of the West wall. In addition permission was sought to replaster the East wall of the Chancel in such a way as to preserve the medieval wall painting that has been uncovered by the removal of the reredos. The Diocesan Advisory Committee and heritage bodies did not support the proposals. The parishioners did not wish the reredos to be returned to the east end of the chancel, as its removal had resulted in considerably more light in the chancel. A report by historic building consultants supported the proposal. The Chancellor determined in principle that the reredos should not be returned to the chancel, subject to a feasible proposal being put forward and approved for its mounting on the west wall.

There were extensive proposals for restoration of and improvements to the Grade I listed church. There were five objectors, but none were parties opponent. The church contains a scheme of paintings on plaster panels, lining the nave and chancel walls, executed in 1941-42 by Duncan Grant and Quentin and Vanessa Bell. One of the concerns was as to the conservation of the paintings. The Deputy Chancellor was satisfied however that adequate expert advice was being sought about the conservation work. Another item of contention was the retention of the front pipework of the old organ, which was being replaced by a digital organ. The petitioners argued that this would provide a sense of continuity with the previous organ arrangements. The Deputy Chancellor was satisfied with all the proposals and granted a faculty.

The Chancellor had issued a stay of proceedings, pending the outcome of a determination by the Dean of Arches of an appeal against a decision of the Deputy Chancellor. An application was made for the stay to be lifted in respect of one item in the current petition, namely additional lavatory facilities. This item was not contentious, there was potential difficulty in rescheduling the builders, and there was a risk of losing Lottery funding. The Chancellor decided that the stay should be lifted and the matter determined via the Online Faculty System.

This judgment  relates to an appeal to the Court of Arches against the decision of the Deputy Chancellor of Chichester Diocese in Re St. Michael & All Angels Berwick [2021] ECC Chi 7. The seating in the church comprised pews and rush-seated chairs. The Deputy Chancellor had refused to grant a faculty for the removal of the pews and their replacement with stackable chairs made by Treske. The Court allowed the appeal on the basis that the conduct of the proceedings in the Consistory Court had been flawed, in that the Deputy Chancellor had erroneously assumed that the proposal was to remove all the seating in the church, including the rush-seated chairs, which was not the case.

This judgment relates to the reordering proposals considered in Re St. Michael & All Angels Berwick [2021] ECC Chi 7, when the Deputy Chancellor refused a faculty for the removal of the pews. The petitioners appealed to the Court of Arches on the grounds that the Deputy Chancellor based his decision on the erroneous assumption that the proposal was to remove all the seating in the church, including the rush-seated chairs, which was not the case. The Court of Arches granted the appeal (Re St. Michael & All Angels Berwick [2022] EACC 1) and directed that the case be remitted to the Consistory Court of Chichester to re-determine the petition. This judgement deals with matters preliminary to a re-hearing, including a challenge to the Consistory Court's power to direct a further oral hearing, questions as to costs, and directions for a new hearing.

The proposals were for a major re-ordering. The local authority objected to one aspect of the scheme, namely the removal and burial of the existing font. Historic England expressed a reservation about the proposals for the new font. Neither objector wished to be a party opponent. The Chancellor came to the conclusion that the better course in this particular case would be to place the old font into storage, and a faculty for the re-ordering scheme was granted on this basis. The judgment contains a review of recent decisions relating to the disposal of fonts.

The petition proposed several items of reordering. The only contentious item was the removal of the Victorian font, which had not been used for many years. A Georgian font in the church is normally used for baptisms, owing to lack of sufficient space for families around the Victorian font. Following the removal of the font it was proposed to use the space as an area for children. The Victorian font would be placed either outside the church, or alternatively an offer could be accepted for it to be stored in Maxstoke Castle. Historic England and the Victorian Society did not favour placing the font in the churchyard, but they did not become parties opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty, but required evidence to be obtained as to whether the placing of the font in the churchyard would result in severe damage due to weathering, in which case the Chancellor would direct that the font be stored in Maxstoke Castle.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for a single storey extension to the 14th century Grade II* church to house a lavatory, a vestry for the clergy and choir and storage for robes; the provision of a kitchenette at the base of the west tower; the repositioning of a screen; and the re-siting of a memorial stone.