Recent queries and comments – 18th November

Including some links to the re-launched web site of the Church of England

Below is a further compilation of “Quick Answers” to questions which have arisen from searches of, or comments during the past couple of weeks, providing links to our blog posts addressing these issues. As before, the topics covered in these occasional posts do not necessarily represent our most-read blogs, but reflects the current interests of readers accessing the site on (mostly) contemporary issues. A surprise entry was an update to a question posed in an earlier Q&C regarding the location of Saxon fonts; and whilst readers are becoming accustomed to the re-launched Church of England web site, we have added some links that policy wonks such as ourselves might find useful.

General searches 

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
how to start a religion legally in uk There are no specific legal requirements.
compare and contrast secular state and Christian state § Initially, this seemed like an essay question, but… …perhaps see Jonathan Chaplin’s guest post The right kind of ‘secular state’ – a Christian perspective, (170126).
upper age limit for cardinals to vote in papal elections Cardinals who celebrate their eightieth birthday before the day when the Apostolic See becomes vacant do not take part in the election. See: Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici gregis
the effectiveness of celestial church of christ board of trustees Dismissing a minister of religion: Celestial Church of Christ.(170207). Celestial Church of Christ, Edward Street Parish (A Charity) v Lawson [2017] EWHC 97 (Ch).
church chancel repair court judgment PCC of the Parish of Aston Cantlow and Wilmcote with Billesley, Warwickshire v Wallbank & Anor [2003] UKHL 37 (26 June 2003). Chancel repair liability – further update, (121018).
what are clergy fees with a funeral/ fees for clergy at a cremation/employment for organists See Parochial Fees, below. Employment conditions for organists are set locally.
lambeth resolutions status See:  Secretary General responds to GAFCON UK on Lambeth I.10 (161122).
potential groundwater pollution from cemeteries Groundwater pollution from cemeteries, (170322). Environment Agency issued a new tranche of position statements on groundwater protection, (170314).
saxon tub font near Bridlington. Update on earlier query. See Carol Twomey’s map of E Yorks fonts, here. Part of her PhD research.


Q&A on other areas of ecclesiastical law

Fr Z: ASK FATHER Summaries of Fr Z’s more detailed responses are given below

  • How much “work” on Sunday? …I know we are to abstain from unnecessary servile (manual) labor on Sundays. How strict should we be with discerning whether the labor is “necessary” or not? (171111).
  • Marriage licenses with “Spouse 1” and “Spouse 2” I am a Protestant clergy [and] had my first marriage since the Supreme Court decision [Obergefell v Hodges] and the new form has “spouse 1” and “spouse 2” on it. I felt like I was condoning and participating in an evil act. Do you have any advice for me …? (171115). No prizes for guessing Fr Z’s response.
  • How to shop online with your Amazon thingy? (171117). Fr Z’s site provides a revenue-generating link to Amazon. We have decided not to use indirect sponsorship.
  • Emergency Baptism “in utero” (171117). Could a baby, temporarily removed from her mother’s womb for life saving spine surgery, have been validly and licitly baptised. Apparently, Yes – “for a long time there has been a procedure in an emergency to baptize in utero”.

Links to sources of frequently sought data – including some to revised CofE site. 

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).

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 – 18th November" in Law & Religion UK, 18 November 2017,

2 thoughts on “Recent queries and comments – 18th November

  1. Your links to specific pages on the new CofE website are very useful as the old links haven’t been redirected, but two pages I had bookmarked before, and cannot find on the new site are “Summary of Church Assembly and General Synod Measures” and “Subordinate legislation”. Do they still exist?

    • Like you, I am still finding my way around the re-launched web site, for which the new search engine is providing little assistance. There is a page entitled Legislation and another on Subordinate Legislation. However, these rely to a great extent on the external government site which has categories for Church Measures and Church Instruments.

      The presence (or current absence) of legislative measures on the website is a major concern for a good number of ecclesiastical lawyers, and I understand that representations have already been made to the CofE; hence the re-appearance of the Canons and Church Representation Rules. I expect that there will be further developments as time progresses, and I would expect the Ecclesiastical Law Society will be a major player in this respect. However, Frank and I will endeavour to keep readers up to date with progress.

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