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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, as at 20 January 2022

Reordering

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Faculty granted for the installation of an electronic organ to replace a pipe organ in an unlisted 1930s church.

The church of St Richard, Crowborough, within the parish of All Saints Crowborough, dates from 1956 and is unlisted. It is a utilitarian building serving as both a chapel and a community hall. The petitioners sought a faculty to carry out the following work, in order to make the church more suitable for furthering mission to the local community, particularly to young children: removal of timber stage to create more storage space; replacement of exterior sign and notice board; replacement of chairs; fitting of new suspended ceiling; replacement of windows with UPVC double glazed units. Two people gave notice of objection, but did not wish to be parties to the proceedings. In granting the faculty, the Chancellor said: "I am satisfied that the works proposed to this unremarkable and utilitarian building are unobjectionable. The petitioners have discharged the burden of demonstrating that the proposals, including the removal of the stage, are desirable, if the effective ministry of this small but vibrant church community is to realise its potential."

The Chancellor granted a faculty for the demolition of some unsightly temporary structures at the east end of the unlisted church and their replacement with permanent brick built structures to accommodate a commercial kitchen, a crèche, lavatories and a food bank.

The Commissary General granted a faculty to replace the existing cupboard, worktop, sink, tap and water heater in the Vestry.

The vicar and churchwardens sought a faculty to reorder the west end of the church by extending the west gallery to the north and west aisles, to introduce an accessible WC below the north-west corner of the extended gallery and enhance the existing catering facilities and musicians’ area. They also proposed introducing speakers into the chancel and the making good of tiles in the floor at the front of the church. The Victorian Society was a party opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that "any prejudice to the architectural integrity is outweighed by the pastoral and liturgical benefits and applying the balance of probabilities the Petitioners have made out their case." He accordingly granted a faculty.

The petition contained a number of items including proposals for lighting inside and outside the church. A parishioner objected to the proposed lighting of the spire on the ground that it would cause a lot of light pollution. The petitioners responded that they had taken their architect's advice and also that of a specialist lighting consultant and as a result they are looking to use modern LED type lights which minimise light pollution by focusing the light to specific areas and thereby minimising spill and light pollution. The Chancellor was also aware of a recent visit by an officer of the planning department, who had recommended the fixing of the external light sources on the stonework, rather than on poles, and had not raised any concerns about light pollution. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners had made their case and granted a faculty.

In 2005 pews had been removed from the side aisles of the church and had been replaced with chairs upholstered with a blue fabric. Also, carpet tiles in two contrasting blue colours had been laid in a chequer-board pattern in the aisles. The petitioners now wished to lay similar carpet tiles and introduce more upholstered chairs into the nave, to create 'a more flexibe space'. (There was also a proposal to update the heating.) The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the pews and further carpet tiles, but was not a party opponent. In spite of slight reservations about the blue colour of the carpet tiles, the Chancellor concluded that the scheme would "give a more unified appearance and will serve the aims that the petitioners seek to achieve." He accordingly granted a faculty.

The proposed works comprised the installation of a new heating system; the installation of an additional toilet; and the reconfiguring of part of the building used as the ‘Youth Room’. (The church is a "resourcing church",  with special funding from the Church Commissioners’ Strategic Development Fund for the purpose of growing the congregation to around 250 people and generating energy and resources for further church-planting elsewhere in the diocese.) Bearing in mind the Church of England's commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030, the Chancellor was concerned about the proposal to install a new gas-fired heating system. However, an expert report indicated that the proposed new system should reduce overall gas usage by 35%. The Chancellor granted a faculty subject to a condition that gas supplied under a green tariff should be used where possible.

Proposals for reordering included: replacement flooring;  replacement heating scheme and underfloor heating; replacement of nave pews with chairs; removal of the side chapel platform and communion rail; construction of a dais or platform with a removable communion rail; removal of the pulpit and the choir stalls;  provision of a ramped access to the chancel and the vestry; replacement of the audio-visual installation. There were several objections, principally to the removal of the pulpit and choir stalls in the chancel. The Chancellor was satisfied that the petitioners have provided compelling evidence of need to justify the grant of a faculty for the major reordering.

Re St. Thomas Charlton [2017] ECC Win 2 The petitioners wished to install an audio visual system in the body of the unlisted church, with a motorised screen located behind the chancel arch, a projector mounted on a roof cross beam and cabling to the rear of the church to a control location. There were two written objections on the grounds that (a) the equipment would be intrusive, and (b) the PCC could not afford the cost of the works. The Chancellor considered that the benefit of improved communication technology being introduced outweighed the general presumption that change should not be permitted. He accordingly granted a faculty.