More answers to readers’ queries and comments – August/September

More answers to readers’ queries and comments

Below is a further compilation of “Quick Answers” to questions which have arisen from searches of L&RUK, or in comments on posts made during recent weeks; links are provided to our blog posts which (to us) appear to address the query.

1. Questions and answers

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
sex and the mental capacity act 2019 The Court of Protection and “consent to sex”: London Borough of Tower Hamlets, (190719). Mental Capacity Act 2005
uac ministries church charity number Charity no. 1103541 Details here.
churchyard regulations trees in churchyards ChurchCare Guidance Notes, Trees. Also relevant case law, but there are only 1 or 2 cases per year, most recently here.
common law marriage abolished uk why Hasn’t existed since Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act (26 Geo. II. c. 33). The clue is in the longer title – “An Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriage”.
english heritage (EH) allows churches to use cheap material to replace [lead roofing §] EH has no such  authority within the church’s consistory courts, although they may refer to its guidance and that of the CBC. See Re St Peter Church Lawford  [2019] ECC Cov 4.
is it illegal to impersonate a priest No. Is it an offence to impersonate a cleric? – thoughts on deposition from Holy Orders, (150206).
memorial service church cost There are no set fees for conducting a memorial service in the CofE. Archbishops’ Council recommends that, where a memorial service is on a similar scale to a funeral service, the PCC fee should be based on the statutory fee for the service.
can a vicar refuse you attending a church In theory, possibly. Who may enter a parish church? (190304).
how often do cemetery’s bury people in wrong plot? There appear to be no centrally held data. We only report on cases heard by the CofE consistory courts.
Christchurch Oxford tribunal This was a college tribunal, details of which are not in the public domain. Tribunal outcome: Christ Church Statement.
is get happy song too religious for civil wedding Music during civil ceremony determined by registrar/ local authority, subject to s11 SI 1995/ 510. Difficult to second guess application to Get Happy which “echoes themes of a Christian evangelical revivalist meeting song”.
is someone allowed to pray for the couple in a civil marriage ceremony Not as part of the ceremony. See above question.
does church of england do funerals for suicide Yes Background in GS 1972B. Canon B38 changed through Amending Canon 37 in July Synod 2017. 
uk law disrupt religious worship service Acclamation, assent and disruption, (160725).

2. Case law related queries

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
pspo ealing council Ealing Council use of PSPO “safe zone” upheld, (180703).
gaum and others v rensenburg and others case summary Equality and same sex relationships vs judicial entanglement in religion: Gaum v Van Rensburg, (190401).
social work fitness Social work, controversial views and fitness to practise: Ngole in the Court of Appeal, (190703).
christian brothers test for vicarious liability The Christian Brothers, child abuse and vicarious liability – yet again, (161031).

3. Top ten L&R UK posts since 15 August 2019

Registration of marriage from end-2019 – Faculty Office
Church bells and the law – I
Churches as charities: some basics
Tribunal outcome: Christ Church, Oxford
Churches, Minsters and Cathedrals
Churchyard Regulations – the practicalities of enforcement
Church of England parochial fees 2019
Petition in the Court of Session to prevent Prorogation of Parliament
Church of England Parochial Fees – Changes for 2020 to 2024
Bishops’ open letter on Brexit

4. Q&A on other areas of ecclesiastical law

“Canon Law Made Easy, Cathy Caridi

What Makes a Mass Invalid? (Part II), (190912)


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 – August/September" in Law & Religion UK, 14 September 2019,

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