More answers to readers’ queries and comments – early April

More answers to readers’ queries and comments

Below is a further compilation of “Quick Answers” to questions which have arisen from searches of, or comments during recent 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.


Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
legal right to religious education Why the constitutional treatment of religion in Great Britain matters in religious disputes, (170927).
church bell tower risk assessment Conflict of safety advice on bell tower access, (181119) See also: Health & Safety and the PCC, (12025) and the CCCBR’s note on Tower safety and risk assessment.
difference between a bishop’s licence and pto in church of England § Permission to Officiate – the new policy, (180723).
no not resucitate english law Do Not Resuscitate: Patients’ Article 8 rights, (140619).
do organ pipes contain asbestos Asbestos in pipe organs, (180612). See also Private Eye, No. 1491, 8 March-21 March, page 16, Col.2, Music and Musicians. 
can my organization be banned hiring [church?] premises § Can a religious group discriminate when hiring its premises?, (120929). Hiring Church Premises – Some further thoughts, (121003).
can church bells legally sound all night See CofE legal guidance. Nuisance at Common Law, and Part III Environmental Protection Act 1990.
is abortion [on grounds of] fetal sex illegal under the abortion act? § Yes. “Abortion remains illegal under the 1861 and 1929 Acts, and the 1969 Abortion Act provides a defence to these for doctors, ‘acting in good faith’, who authorise an abortion under one of the grounds within section 1(1) and (2)”. Gender-specific abortion: law and ethics, (130918).
Emneth church rev w awdry Thoughts on railways, clergy, religion and the law, (160418). See also Michael Sadgrove’s The Ten-Fifty to Newcastle: Clergy and the Railways,(190204).
uk church state and the law in public office CofE Bishops and “public office”, (141110). “Misconduct in Public Office” revisited, (170630).
differences between the ecj and the ech The CJEU and the ECtHR: an idiot’s guide, (170227),
churches and occupiers liability and the defective premises act Defective Premises Act 1972, Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, and Occupiers Liability Act 1984.
churches liability employers Church liability: fall from ladder, (170308). Trustees, clergy and vicarious liability, (120716).
anglican benediction service § Q: “Monstrances in the Church of England: are they legal?”, (160405). A: “Yes – but only just”
are long grave stones  legal § Depends upon diocesan Churchyard Regulations, q.v.. If not within Regulations, which vary between dioceses, faculty must be sought from consistory court.
article 9 of law 4554/2018 greek Not something we have covered. 4554 … Επιτροπεία ασυνόδευτων ανηλίκων και άλλες διατάξεις  – regulatory framework for the guardianship of unaccompanied minors.
ownership of ashes scotland ss 51 to 56 Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 govern the handling of ashes. Also ss 12 to 14 Cremation (Scotland) Regulations 2019.
corporation sole church of england See Philip Jones’ Ecclesiastical Corporations, (120828).
there a set retirement age for church of england clergy? Age-related milestones in the church, (141002, updated 190404).

Case law related queries

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
r(z) v hackney & agudas israel We haven’t covered the case, but see summary by Nearly Legal. R(Z) v Hackney LBC & Agudas Israel HA (2019) EWHC 139 (Admin)

Q&A on other areas of ecclesiastical law

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

“Canon Law Made Easy, Cathy Caridi

Links to sources of frequently sought data

The Church of England’s revised website was introduced over a year ago; since then, a number of improvements have been made, and users have become more familiar with the site’s architecture. Nevertheless, 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). We have also prepared “quick links” to Guidance Notes on the new ChurchCare pages on the CofE main site.

Church of England Parochial Fees 2019

Since first posting Church of England parochial fees 2019 on 18 November 2018, this has been our most accessed post; an explanation of the calculation of these fees and the timing of their publication is here. The February 2019 General Synod approved a new scheme for parochial fees which will be applicable for the years 2020 to 2024 inclusive; these are discussed in our post Church of England Parochial Fees – Changes for 2020 to 2024. In addition, the fee for the issue of a Marriage Certificate has been increased to £11.00 with effect from 16 February 2019 and that the two-tier fee system for church weddings has been replaced with a single fee regardless of when the Certificate is issued.

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). Our “Quick Answer” indicates when the topic of the query was last addressed on the blog. 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, "More answers to readers’ queries and comments – early April" in Law & Religion UK, 5 April 2019,

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