About us

I’m Frank Cranmer. I’m a Quaker who used to be an Anglican and I’m a graduate of the Cardiff LLM course in canon law, for which I now teach the occasional session. I edit the government & parliament and synod sections of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal and I’m casenotes editor of Law & Justice. I’m also the Secretary of the Churches’ Legislation Advisory Service, the primary purpose of which is to keep the Churches informed of what is going on in the secular policy sphere and to let Government know the Churches’ views on legislation and policy proposals that might affect them. My principal academic interests are church-state relations, religion and human rights and Presbyterian church law – the last of these simply because very few others seem interested in it (for reasons I can’t understand).

When I first became interested in the interaction between law and religion in the mid-90s it was still the pursuit of a fairly small academic community; but in the past four or five years the number of people researching and writing in the field has mushroomed – possibly as a reaction to the increasing political profile of arguments over the place of religion within society generally.


I’m David Pocklington, an Anglo-Catholic and chorister at John Betjeman’s former parish in rural Oxfordshire.  A relative newcomer to this area of law, I became aware of some of the more practical issues through my column Industry Soundings which appears in Environmental Law and Management.  At that time I was involved in representing industry interests primarily in relation to resource management and climate change.

Recent attendance at the Cardiff LLM course provided a broader appreciation of the legislation associated with religion, and whilst my interests remain with public policy issues, they now include the dynamics of the involvement of faith groups in the development and application of new legislation, particularly in relation to the environment.

We are both Fellows at the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff, which is where we learned our trade.

11 thoughts on “About us

  1. Pingback: Welcome | Law & Religion UK

  2. Hi Frank & David,

    Great blog! I have a potential guest post for you regarding the equal marriage bill. It’s over 500 words and discusses protection for religious organisations.

    Please get back to me at gavin@wardblawg.com and I’ll send this over asap if of interest to you.

    Kind regards,

  3. Pingback: Welcome | Law & Religion UK

  4. Dear David and Frank.

    Just found your blog and would like to introduce you to our new resource for people in ministry http://www.sheldonhub.org – doing healthy ministry together.

    Public pages from link on the home page on our new Project CDM – restoring humanity to clergy discipline. Would be interested in getting in touch.

    Sarah Horsman

  5. Dear David and Frank,

    My name is Dom Vickers, and I am a masters degree student at Sheffield Hallam University, studying Real Estate (MSc). As part of my dissertation thesis I am studying Chancel Repair Liability, and I would love it if you could help me with my research.

    If either of you would be able to help me, please let me know by reply and I will be in touch with you in due course.

    Kindest regards,
    Dom Vickers

    Masters Student
    Sheffield Hallam University

  6. Dear David and Frank
    I love your blogs, thank you.
    Have you looked into (I can’t see it if you have) whether incumbents (C of E) have the legal right to waive the Diocesan (as well as the PCC) statutory fee (for weddings and funerals) despite Diocesan policy stating that Diocesan permission must be sought before doing so.
    It appears that legally an incumbent can waive the fee that doesn’t belong to the incumbent/PCC. I suspect it is left over from when fees formed part of the stipend and were assigned by the incumbent to the diocese and haven’t been updated.
    Best wishes

    • Thanks for your question, the answer to which is on the Church of England’s A guide to Church of England Parochial Fees page. Scrolling down, you will find “Waiving Parochial Fees”, which states:

      “14. From time to time a situation may arise where an incumbent/priest in charge or parochial church council feels that a fee should be waived. The 1986 Measure, as amended, gives the incumbent/priest in charge a right to waive the DBF’s part of the fee “in a particular case” if he or she so chooses. The PCC has always had the right to waive its part of the fee.

      15. In deciding what to do the following need to be borne in mind:-
      1. Parochial fees have been approved by the General Synod and Parliament; they are legally payable;
      2. If an incumbent/priest in charge waives the DBF fee the diocese will in most cases have to find additional funds for stipends. Ultimately these extra funds will have to be provided by the parishes;
      3. The incumbent/priest in charge has a right to waive the DBF fee “in a particular case”. That means that the incumbent/priest in charge cannot issue a general, blanket waiver of fees in the parish. There is not a statutory requirement for the incumbent/priest in charge to consult before waiving the DBF fee, but, if an incumbent/priest in charge or PCC is considering whether to waive or reduce a fee, regard should be had to any guidelines laid down by the diocese. The incumbent/priest in charge should be able to account for a particular decision to waive a fee.

      16. The incumbent/priest in charge also has a right, after consulting the churchwardens of the parish, to waive any fee payable to the PCC “in a particular case”.

      17. The Archbishops’ Council’s advice is that the power to waive fees should only be exercised in cases of clear financial hardship. It is understandable that some clergy have been known to waive fees for those who are long-standing members of the congregation. The Council believes, however, that this practice should not be encouraged.”


  7. Friends: The option to “subscribe” to this blog seems a bit of a dead end. When clicking on the “subscribe” button, there’s a page which says “subscribe,” but nothing more. No fill-in, no options, nothing.

    Might it be possible to learn how to, well, subscribe?

    • Indeed it will, and thank you for pointing out the problem. It seems as though other links on the task bar are similarly affected, and we have asked out IT consultant to look into the problem. DavidP

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