Points arising from recent judgment on disposal of fonts
With allusions to Sydney Pollack’s 1969 award-winning film, our post They bury fonts, don’t they? considered the issues associated with the disposal of unwanted fonts raised in Re St. Peter Shipton Bellinger  Winchester Const Ct, Christopher Clark Ch. In this case, three disposal options had been suggested: that it should be offered for sale; given to another church or chapel; or failing these options, buried in a convenient place in the churchyard. Although successfully appealed by the Victorian Society in the Arches Court, In Re St. Peter Shipton Bellinger  Court of Arches, this latter judgment centred on the handling and determination of the case [“at every level almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong” ] rather than the burial or other disposal of the font. Nevertheless, the post gave rise to a valuable comment stream which we followed up in Last rites for fonts – continued.
The issue of the burial of fonts has been raised again recently in Re St Philip Scholes  ECC Lee 5, and this post summarizes the review of the legal issues considered, the judgment of the court and the production of guidance by the Church Buildings Council.