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Alphabetical Index of all judgments on this web site as at 4 June 2020

Index by Dioceses of all judgments on this web site, as at 4 June 2020

Reordering

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Petition for re-ordering, including partial removal or shortening of pews; levelling of floor to improve access; installation of accessible WC; installation of “brew facilities”; installation of a glazed screen to create meeting/creche area; installation  of new heating system. Objections by Church Building Council to partial removal of pews and type of heating. Judgment given on the basis of written representations. Faculty granted.

The petition proposed extensive reordering of the church and the creation of a link between the church and the church centre. The controversial item was a proposal to place a curtain wall behind the three arches at the front of the nave and to create within the then enclosed chancel (designed by the well-known church architect George Pace) a meeting room, an office and storage area on three floor levels. The Chancellor considered that the proposal would harm the special character of the building and that the petitioners should consider alternatively ways of finding the meeting, office and storage space they required. The Chancellor therefore granted a faculty which excluded the proposals for the chancel.

The reordering proposals included: removal and disposal of the nave pews, the removal of a balcony structure, the disposal of an electric valve organ, the levelling of the floors by removing the pew platforms, the relocation of the pulpit, the construction of a ramp to the dais, the introduction of a new boiler and underfloor heating system, a new lighting system and a new audio-visual system, the replacement of fibreglass windows with clear glass leaded windows, the provision of a crèche area and a storage area, alterations to the ‘font doors’, new flooring, chairs and tables and complete redecoration. The Victorian Society objected to the removal of the pews and their replacement with upholstered chairs. However, the Deputy Chancellor granted a faculty, being satisfied that the petitioners had made a good case for the proposals and that the resulting public benefit would greatly outweigh any harm caused to the significance of the church as a whole.

The Chancellor granted a faculty to authorise the removal of a number of pews from the front of the nave of the unlisted church building, in order to allow greater flexibility of use of the church, subject to the condition that the pews should be stored in a part of the church, with liberty to apply for them to be removed permanently, if the experiment proved successful.

The Team Rector and churchwardens sought a confirmatory faculty for the retention of a nave altar, which had been in use since a reordering of the interior of the church in 2013/2014. The nave altar had been made from the wood of the choir stalls, which had been removed as part of the reordering. The Diocesan Advisory Committee objected to the retention of the altar on the grounds that it was too low (it originally had castors, which had been removed), and the surface area was too small. The Vicar General was satisfied that the surface of the altar was adequate, and he granted a confirmatory faculty subject to conditions that blocks should be placed under the legs of the altar, to raise the altar to a more appropriate height, and that the altar should at all times be covered by a Laudian fall.

The Chancellor considered two faculty petitions, the object of both being to allow the church to be used as a visitor centre as part of a heritage trail linking various historic sites in the village. The first petition related to the installation of a digital display board, to be installed on the north wall of the nave, and to be used for notices, for showing films about the history of village and as an aid to worship on appropriate occasions. The second application sought permission to install two secure moveable cabinets in the south west corner of the church and two moveable desks at the rear of the church, the cabinets to be used to store merchandise for supplies and sales to visitors, one of the desks is to be used to display information for visitors and the other to enable Manx craftspeople to sell their merchandise. The Chancellor granted two faculties.

The petition proposed an extensive reordering of the Grade II late Victorian church, which would "provide a more flexible space, improved facilities, proper disabled access, proper facilities for families and children, modern heating, modern lighting and a more attractive physical environment to develop the Parish's mission." The Chancellor granted a faculty for the proposed works, with the exception of the proposal to cover all the Victorian tiles in the nave with a wooden floor. The Chancellor stated that he would deal with the issue of the floor by way of an addendum to the judgment, after the parish had had a further opportunity to discuss the matter with the Victorian Society, who had objected to all the tiles being covered.

In 1971 there had been a major reordering of the Grade II Victorian church, which included (inter alia) a re-orientation, so that the pews (made free-standing) faced north towards a dais on which the Holy Table was positioned; the nave was also carpeted. A new major reordering was proposed, to include returning to the original orientation (east-west), replacing the carpet with tiles and replacing the pews with upholstered chairs with metal frames. The Victorian Society objected to the proposed tiles and the upholstered chairs. The Chancellor decided that the proposals were reasonable and granted a faculty. In his judgment, the Chancellor makes some comments on the second of the 'Duffield' questions and also on the status of the CBC's guidance regarding chairs.

There was an application for the permanent removal of the Victorian pulpit, which had been moved from its original position under the authority of an Archdeacon's Licence for Temporary Reordering in 2015. The Chancellor was satisfied that the harm likely to be caused by the permanent removal of the pulpit was low, and he accordingly granted a faculty. However, he pointed out that the petitioners and the Archdeacon were in breach of the Faculty Rules, which require that, where a temporary licence has been granted, the Archdeacon has a duty to inform the parish concerned that the licence is due to expire and to require them to make an application for a faculty, if apppropriate; also an application for a confirmatory faculty must be made by the petitioners not less than two months before the expiry of the licence, which had not been the case here. This was therefore a salutory lesson to PCCs and Archdeacons to keep records of the expiry dates of temporary licences.

In September 2018, the Archdeacon had given a temporary licence for reordering, to allow the removal of two pews (to be retained in safe storage) and the reversal of a third pew, to provide a children's corner on the north side of the church. Three parishioners gave written objections, but did not become parties opponent. Against the background of a forthcoming petition for a general reordering, including removal of the pews, the Chancellor granted a faculty for the temporary arrangement authorised by the Archdeacon to continue until the forthcoming petition was determined. At that point the Chancellor could decide whether the present arrangement should continue or be reversed.