Recent queries and comments, mid-February

More answers to readers’ queries and comments

We have made a further compilation of “Quick Answers” to questions which have arisen from searches of, or comments during the early part of February.

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.

General searches 

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
bath abbey Victorian pews Victorian Society have applied for leave to appeal, (180111).  Appeal on Bath Abbey pews? (180112).
bishop’s visitation of a parish See: Canon G 5 Of visitations
Lord Bingham on abortion. See: Why we need to clarify our abortion laws Dominic Grieve.
is uk church a charity? See: Charity Commission Guidance, Excepted charities
choirs and the church according to the canon law See B 20 Of the musicians and music of the Church Also CoF Legal Advisory Commission’s Opinion: Parish music: organists and choirmasters and church musicians (February 2017)
the law surrounding abortion in northern Ireland  An on-going issue… …but see: New guidance on abortion law in Northern Ireland, (160329).
ethical review on three person ivf Issues raised in Westminster Hall debate… MPs debate “Three-person IVF” (again), (140902).
ivf laws northern ireland Principal legislation is Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.   The Act, (except sections 33A(2)(r) and] 37, extends to Northern Ireland.
impact of Strasburg jurisprudence on common law “Has the identity of the English Common Law been eroded by EU Laws and ECHR? Lord Neuberger (160818).
age limit for assumptionist priest Determined by canon law: novitiate, min.18 Can. 643 §1; deacon and priest, min 23 and 25, resp., Can. 1031 §1. See also: Becoming an assumptionist
church as community asset in community building Many faculty petitions seek reordering to facilitate greater community use. Latest petitions posted in monthly consistory court update, Dec ’17 & Jan ’18; also annual index of cases.
are cemeteries protected in the uk From what? With regard to their use, Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860; and possibly provisions of Canon F 15 Of churches not to be profaned Press-ups between the Purbeck, (150814).
law on security at a church uk No specific legislation in this area.
church of England vows civil ceremony  No. “Religious” content of civil marriage ceremonies, (130705).
cost of exhumation and reburial  We have no data on these costs.  …but may also included court costs, where relevant.

Case law related searches

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
rev peter rouch Bournemouth Clergy discipline, former clergy and parochial fees, (150129). The CDM action was brought by The Ven Peter Rouch
judgment: re js (disposal of body) Re JS (Disposal of Body) [2016] EWHC 2859 (Fam), (161110). Cryonics and the law: Re JS (Disposal of Body), (261119).

Q&A on other areas of ecclesiastical law

Canon Law Made Easy, Cathy Caridi

Can the Pope Validly Marry People on an Airplane? A detailed consideration which concludes: “Airplanes are definitely not the ideal locations for Catholic weddings; but there’s no reason to think somehow, that this one was celebrated invalidly”.

Links to sources of frequently sought data

For those not yet familiar with the architecture of the Church of England’s revised web site, we have posted some quick links to areas of potential interest to ecclesiastical lawyers (and clergy), here, (law & policy); here, (clergy and General Synod) and here, (legal opinions and other guidance).

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.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Recent queries and comments, mid-February" in Law & Religion UK, 17 February 2018,

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