Ignorance of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules is no excuse…

In a recent round-up we made brief mention of two strongly-worded judgments by June Rodgers Ch which highlighted a general ignorance of and blatant disregard for the faculty jurisdiction. Readers of our post Churchyard boundary dispute: “a most unpleasant case” will be aware that where appropriate, diocesan Chancellors do not mince their words. In Re Emmanuel Church, Leckhampton [2014] Gloucester Cons Ct  and Re St Giles Uley [2014] Gloucester Cons Ct Rodgers Ch certainly didn’t mince hers; and the emboldened sections in the two judgments indicate her considerable exasperation at the behaviour of some of the parties involved.

In Re Emmanuel Church, Leckhampton, the conduct of the priest-in-charge and the churchwardens was described as “really, really stupid” although there was “no evidence they have caused the church actual financial loss”: they were fortunate that the Chancellor considered that “it would not further the mission of the Church to visit the burdens and costs of consequent litigation upon [them] personally”.  In Re St Giles Uley, however, “[the] failures by the Petitioners have given rise to substantial costs, estimated, subject to assessment at about £4,000, the vast majority of which arise from untangling [the] mess”.

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