Judgment Search


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 1 October 2022

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



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.

The petition proposed the replacement of the link between the church and the Millennium Room (a church extension on the north side), providing a lobby, meeting rooms, storage and improved toilet and kitchen facilities. There were eight objections on behalf of eleven people, on the grounds of costs, but none became a party opponent. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The proposals were the introduction of a nave altar; the removal of the rood screen; and removal/adaptation of the choir stalls. The Chancellor declined to grant a faculty for the proposed works without consideration being given to whether the chancel arch would need to be removed and also what replacement seating would be appropriate for the choir. He therefore adjourned the petition in order for these matters to be addressed.

The main items of a programme of reordering were the extension of the meeting area at the west end of the church, which would involve removing two rows of pews, and the extension of the gallery over it. Ten parishioners gave notice of objection, but none became parties opponent. The Chancellor was satisfied that a good case had been made for these items and other improvements to the existing facilities and he granted a faculty.

Following a reordering of the church in 1991-1994, it was proposed to place carvings of the heads of the current Bishop of Peterborough (the Rt. Rev. William Westwood) and the current Vicar of Oundle (the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Caddick) as label stops in the nave. (Label stops are put where arches meet in a 'V' at the top of pillars.) The new carvings would be put at the top of the only two pillars in the nave which did not have label stops above them. There were four parties opponent, whose main objections were on the ground of appropriateness, including a suggestion that it was not appropriate to place the likenesses of living persons in the church. The Chancellor found against the objectors and granted a faculty. He was able to accept that the proposals for carved heads were acceptable legally, architecturally and aesthetically, and they were appropriate items to be introduced into the church.

The petitioners sought a faculty for the construction of a parish room (by way of extension) to the south of the church. Two neighbours and another parishioner objected, though there were no objections from the local planning authority (who in fact granted planning consent) or the amenity societies. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

An extensive reordering was proposed for a Grade II listed Victorian church. The Victorian Society and Heritage England, though not parties opponent, objected to the replacement of most of the pews with chairs, replacement of the dado panelling and replacement of the stone and wood floor with new wooden flooring. The Chancellor determined that the resulting public benefit (including liturgical freedom, pastoral well-being, opportunities for mission, and putting the church to viable uses that were consistent with its role as a place of worship and mission) would outweigh any harm that would be caused by the changes.

There was a proposal to build an extension to the north-east corner of the church, which would involve the demolition of a 19th century vestry. There were 16 parties opponent and many other objectors by letter. The need for the extension was as a result of the sale of a building opposite the church, which had been used by many church groups, but had fallen into great disrepair. The Chancellor was satisfied that the proposed extension would not result in harm to the significance of the church as a
building of special architectural or historic interest, and he accordingly granted a faculty.