Consistory court judgments – 2015

Index to consistory court judgments reviewed in 2015

The judgments reviewed by L&RUK in 2015 have been grouped under the following headings:

As from 1 January 2016, judgments in the ecclesiastical courts will be given a neutral citation number.

Reordering, extensions and other building works

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  • Re St. Nicholas Addlethorpe [2015] Lincoln Const Ct Use of Terne Coasted Stainless Steel, (CTS), for roofing following theft of lead.

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Audio Visual Equipment

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  • Re Wandsworth St Anne [2015] Southwark Const Ct: Health and other IT issues, assessment of “modest harm” on Grade II* building, secular and ecclesiastical criteria.

A further consideration of telecommunications issues involved was given in “Wi-Fi in churches – health effects, courts’ jurisdiction and locus standi,” (8 January 2015).

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Problems of access

Family graves

  • Re St. Matthew Stretton [2015] Chester Const. Ct: Reservation of grave by new partner for burial of ashes in existing interment*; and Re St. Matthew Stretton [2015] Chancery Court of York: Appeal*.
  • Re Astwood Cemetery [2014] Worcester Const Ct: Temporary and permanent storage of cremation “ashes”.
  • Re Chalcroft Lane Cemetery Regis [2015] Chichester Const Ct Petition for exhumation refused – no special reason or circumstances identified*.
  • Re St. Andrew, Witchford [2015] Future burial with former partner*.
  • Re All Saints Barrowby [2015] Lincoln Const Ct, Exhumation of remains for reburial in Italy

Unlawful burial

Errors in burial 

  • Re St. Nicholas Codsall [2015] Lichfield Const Ct. Exhumation from inadequately-dug double depth grave of insufficient depth.
  • Re Twyford Cemetery [2015] Oxford Const Ct. Resolution of problem resulting from burial in wrong plot through “human error”.
  • Re St. Agatha Woldingham [2015] Southwark Const Ct: Exhumation from frequently waterlogged part of churchyard.


  • Re Holy Trinity Stratford upon Avon [2015] Coventry Const Ct Faculty granted for plaque marking cremation remains, despite earlier “floodgates” arguments. Special circumstances identified.
  • Re St Leonard Beoley [2015] Worcester Const Ct: Removal of skull, said to be that of Shakespeare, from vault for tests on authenticity*.
  • Re St James, Gorton [2015] Manchester Cons Ct: Excavation of grave to seek evidence said to be left by Moors Murderer, Ian Brady*.

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  • Re Holy Trinity Eccleshall [2014] Lichfield Const Ct* Faculty refused for memorial contrary to Churchyard Regulations, reflecting Chancellor’s 2012 judgment.
  • Re Christ Church Lye [2015] Worcester Const Ct: Local council’s duty re: subsidence caused by trees in a closed churchyard under its control
  • Re St. Peter Croft-on-Tees [2015] West Yorkshire and the Dales Const Ct: Permission refused for addition of kerbs and chippings to a memorial on existing grave*.
  • Re St. Mary, Wath [2015] West Yorkshire & The Dales Const Ct, Mark Hill Ch. removal of kerbing around graves.

In March 2015 we explored “Reservation of burial space” with reference to: Re St. Wilfrid Grappenhall [2015] Chester Const Ct, David Turner Ch. which considered the establishment of a “no-reservation” policy by the PCC; and Re All Saints Heathfield [2013] Chichester Const Ct, Mark Hill Ch. in which there were only “four or five” burial spaces available at the time of the hearing.

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  • Re Holy Trinity Cambridge [2015] Lincoln Const Ct. Replacement of pipe organ, conditional on selection of “high quality replacement organ suitable to the building”, to be approved by the Diocesan Organ Advisor and by the Chancellor.
  • Re All Saints Rothbury [2015] Newcastle Const Ct Refurbishment of pipe organ.

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  • Re St. Bartholomew Kirby Muxloe [2015] Leicester Const Ct, David Rees Dep. Ch. Replacement the stone font with a new font of controversial modern design. Censure of those acting without faculty.
  • Re St. Peter Shipton Bellinger [2015] Appeal by the Victorian Society against the judgment of the Chancellor of Winchester Diocese granting a faculty to replace the existing, Victorian font with a new font made of Purbeck stone.

We have considered the disposal of fonts further in “They bury fonts, don’t they?” (7 April 2015), in “Last rites for fonts – continued” (17 April 2015), and in  Burial and destruction of unwanted fonts – further clarification, 31 May 2016.

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Bells Re Holy Cross Scopwick [2015] Lincoln Const Ct, Mark Bishop Ch. Disposal of unusable bell.

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Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Consistory court judgments – 2015" in Law & Religion UK, 21 December 2015,