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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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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.

It was proposed to replace the existing chairs in the nave of the Priory with 280 wooden chairs, with upholstered seats and backs, and also install 40 additional Howe stacking chairs to match ones already in the north choir aisle. The Diocesan Advisory, English Heritage and the Chancellor had reservations about the proposed colour of the upholstery, a strong brick red. Subject to agreement by the Parochial Church Council, the Chancellor granted a faculty, subject to the colour of the upholstery being of a more subdued colour.

The proposals included a small extension to the church to accommodate toilets and a plant room. The DAC opposed the proposals, stating that “the elevations of the proposed extension are not in proportion to the mass and scale of the church.” However, Historic England were pleased that the petitioners had followed their recommendation to reduce the size of the proposed extension, which meant that it would be more easily assimilated by the church building as a whole. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

The Vicar and Churchwardens sought a confirmatory faculty for the permanent disposal of 100 kneelers already removed from the church. (At the time of removal, the consent of the Archdeacon would have been required under the then diocesan 'de minimis' rules but, since the coming into effect of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 on 1 January 2016, the consent of the Archdeacon to a disposal of kneelers would not be required.) The Chancellor saw no grounds for refusing a faculty. Faculty therefore granted.

The petitioners applied to remove and dispose of a bell which had been stored at the rear of the nave of the church for 41 years. The bell was cast by Humphrey Wilkinson, a Lincolnshire founder, in 1700. The Church Buildings Council objected. The Petitioners wished to remove the bell as it impeded the use of the rear of the Church. The Chancellor granted a faculty to allow the bell to be removed to the diocesan store for safekeeping.

The Chancellor granted a faculty for a major re-ordering, being satisfied that the benefits of the proposed works would outweigh any the harm to the significance of the Grade I listed church as a building of architectural or historic interest. The proposed works included a new kitchen and two new toilets (to replace the existing kitchen and single toilet); the replacement of the pews with chairs; and new screening for chair storage at the tower.

The Team Vicar and Churchwardens applied for a faculty to replace one half of the existing benches in the church with chairs and to introduce of a new altar frontal and pulpit fall. The Chancellor granted a faculty.

An application was made for a Faculty to authorise the removal of a Victorian pipe organ, and its replacement with an electric organ. This would be part of a larger project of re-ordering, for which an application for a faculty had not yet been made. The reasons for removal of the organ were that the organ was rarely used, it did not suit the evangelical style of worship, and its removal would free up space to create two meeting rooms. The Victorian Society objected to the proposals. Re St. Alkmund Duffield considered. Faculty granted.