Recent queries and comments – 26th August

A Bank Holiday supplement to our weekly round-up

We have made a further compilation of “Quick Answers” to questions which have arisen from searches of, or comments during the past week or so, providing links to our blog posts addressing these issues. The topics covered in these “Saturday Supplements” does not necessarily represent our most-read blogs, but reflects the current interests of readers accessing the site on (mostly) contemporary issues. 

General searches

Question Quick Answer L&RUK post/comment
northern ireland abortion and echr 2017 On-going political issue; NI Court of Appeal judgment, 29 June 2017. Abortion and human rights in Northern Ireland [updated], (17/06/29).
clear @c of e statement on whether a church can choose the gender of its associate priest & of its preachers? No, it cannot, (but longer explanation necessary). Some issues addressed in Independent Reviewer’s report on All Saints, Cheltenham. Undated, but CofE Press release issued 10 August 2015.
international latin prose competition Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Foveatur Lingua Latina. Lingua Latina, the internet and the Popes, (12/09/05). Prizes awarded to winners towards end of year. [Unsurprisingly, the relevant documentation is in Latin].
can you get buried in your back garden? Yes, BUT… Back-garden burials? (14/12/10) and Groundwater pollution from cemeteries (170324) on new EA position statement (L4).
recent cases on religion and custody in united kingdom (I) Unlike the Vatican City State, ecclesiastical courts of the CofE have no custodial powers.


Cathedral constables (and, theoretically, churchwardens) have the power of arrest. York Minster constables given police powers, (170208).
recent cases on religion and custody in united kingdom (II) Was the search about a UK equivalent of US prisoner Free Exercise cases, as covered on Howard Friedman’s blog Religion Clause? Not really our area; perhaps Prison Reform Trust document?
church of england churchyard regulations Although all are similar, they are diocese-specific. Frequently considered in our monthly consistory court round-ups.
ecclesiastical law blog “Ecclesiastical” by name or content; UK or broader? See blogroll on our Home Page, (scroll down).
perceptions dresses also clerical clergy shirts uk Sorry, folks, you’ve come to the wrong place.
is it against the law to call oneself reverend when the church has defrocked you “Defrocking” is term used by media implying “enforced laicisation”. Not now an option in CofE, but remains in Roman Catholic Church.

“Reverend” is not a protected title and may be used by anyone.

Safeguarding, the C of E and deposition from orders, (150713).

Is it an offence to impersonate a cleric?, (150206).

Presence of named cleric on Archbishops’ List, § ‡ [i] Archbishops’ List is confidential.; [ii] We don’t do “personal”. Clergy blacklists, blue files and the Archbishops’ List, (140703).
parochial fees 2016 church in wales Churchyard and Burial Fees – 2017 and Marriage Fees – 2017
Are parish churches allowed to charge for entry, § ‡  Yes See Sir Tony Baldry’s Written Answer on 4 July 2013.
churches position on splitting human remains  Strongly discouraged.  Roman Catholic position. See also Division of ashes between relatives (and others)
Is free entry to CofE parish churches governed by legislation, § ‡. Not to our knowledge, but… See Written Answer of Sir Tony Baldry, Second Church Estates Commissioner, 4 July 2013.

Unless marked §, the questions are the search terms used, verbatim;  questions arising externally to the blog, (twitter/other), are marked ‡; the dates in parentheses are in the format (yymmdd).


Further information on the last question would be welcome, as our initial searched drew a blank. Equally, we are always pleased to receive information from those with particular experience in the issues in question.


As stated in our General Terms and Conditions, at L&RUK we do not give legal advice, or purport to do so. This post is a summary of recent enquiries and comments, and links to relevant coverage in this blog and elsewhere. With regard to on-going issues, the date of this sourced material is of particular importance. For specific queries on the application of the legislation, professional legal advice should be sought.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Recent queries and comments – 26th August" in Law & Religion UK, 26 August 2017,

4 thoughts on “Recent queries and comments – 26th August

  1. Dear L&R/UK:

    Your daily email feed continues to educate, inform & (often) entertain.
    Today’s digest included this little gem:

    On 26 Aug 2017, at 7.01, Law & Religion UK wrote:

    international latin prose competition Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Foveatur Lingua Latina. Lingua Latina, the internet and the Popes, (12/09/05). Prizes awarded to winners towards end of year. [Unsurprisingly, the relevant documentation is in Latin].

    But I am baffled, since the motu proprio is dated 2012, that the date for the competition is stated thus:
    Certamen die XXIX mensis Novembris anno MMIX in Urbe celebrabitur.

    …which appears to refer to the year 2009, unless the Vatican follows a calendar all of its own?

    Not that my own skills in Latin composition would be adequate, but I have a couple of friends I thought I’d send a heads-up to.


    • Dear Keith, pleased to hear of your interest in the blog. The initial query on the international Latin prose competition certainly intrigued me (particularly since I had forgotten that I had written a post back in 2012, when the blog was in its infancy). These days. my Latin is confined to the first line of Caesar’s De Bello Gallico and singing of the Ordinary and Motets. Details of the Pontifical Academies Prizes for 2017 are here. However, the date for submissions has now passed (12 May) and the eligibility criteria are quite restrictive. Nevertheless, and interesting insight on this aspect of Vatican initiatives.

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