Risks of disregarding the faculty jurisdiction

In 2014 we posted Ignorance of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules is no excuse… following two strongly-worded judgments in Re Emmanuel Church, Leckhampton [2014] Gloucester Cons Ct and Re St Giles Uley [2014] Gloucester Cons Ct where the actions of the Priest-in-Charge and churchwardens were sharply criticized by the chancellor. However, the criticism levelled at the Priest in Charge and churchwardens by Chancellor Rodgers in these cases was quite mild in comparison to that in the recent case Re St Mary Mildenhall [2016] ECC SEI 1, which concerned “a flagrant disregard of the faculty jurisdiction” by both the P-i-C, the churchwardens and an electrical contractor and in which the P-i-C “had decided ‘to take the risk'” of proceeding without a faculty [25].

Regardless of whether such infractions result from ignorance of the faculty jurisdiction or intentional disregard for it, clergy and PCCs need to be aware of the legal, insurance and financial consequences of such actions. Continue reading