In our round-up on 26 August we included a report on an article in the Daily Telegraph which suggested that the middle classes have become obsessed with stained glass and church pews rather than religion. What the Gloucester Diocesan Chancellor, June Rodgers, actually said in Re SS Philip and James  Ecc Glo was:
“. …Artistic Heritage, on occasions, can appear to become [a] professional middle class substitute for religious observance or belief…”.
However, her 22-page judgment gave a balanced view of the issues faced by Chancellors when seeking to assess the relative merits of the mission, aesthetics and heritage of parish churches. This post reproduces sections of the judgment which will be of relevance to any party involved in the reordering of a church under the faculty jurisdiction; capitalization and underlining in original. A future post will examine legal aspects of the case in more detail. Continue reading