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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.

Reordering

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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.

The petitioners sought a faculty to authorise the movement of the altar westwards by 60cm to increase the amount of space behind the altar for celebrating the Eucharist. Applying the tests laid down in Re St Alkmund’s Duffield [2013], the Deputy Chancellor took the view that the proposals would not cause any harm to the church as a building of special architectural and historic significance, and accordingly granted a faculty.

In 2010, there had been a major reordering approved by faculty. This involved replacing the dark wood podium, altar, credence table, lectern and choir chairs in the chancel with new furniture in a light oak. The Parochial Church Council now wished to replace the dark pine nave pews with upholstered light oak chairs, partly because of the poor condition of many of the pews and partly to permit more flexible use of the church. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the pews, and they also objected to the idea of upholstered chairs, as did the Ancient Monuments Society and the Church Buildings Council. The Chancellor was satisfied that the removal of the pews would not materially harm the interior of the church and would blend in better with the light oak furniture in the chancel. He was also persuaded that the proposed chairs were suitable for flexible use of the church, and the proposed colour would fit well with other colours in the church. He therefore granted a faculty

The petitioners wished  to remove fifteen of the nineteen pews in the nave, retaining two pews in the nave and two in the chancel, and introduce fifty lightweight stackable wooden chairs, some with arms and some with vinyl padded seats. The pews were acquired from a boarding school chapel in the 1990s. The Chancellor determined that the pews were 'lacking in connection to the church and not lending any particular style to it', so that in removing the pews there would be no harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest. Notwithstanding the amenity societies not being in favour of some of the seats being padded, the Chancellor decided that the effect of beige padding on light teak wooden frames would be minimal, and she therefore granted a faculty.

The petitioners' proposals included: the creation of a draught lobby in the church porch with new screening, glass doors and stepless access; a second toilet, accessible to the disabled; removal of some pews; alteration of the children's pews; and some electrical and heating works. Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings were concerned about the impact of the proposed porch screen on the building's significance and special interest. However, the Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made out a good case for the proposals and he granted a faculty.