Contested heritage: Reverend John Newton (1725-1807)

The public protests associated with the Black Lives Matter campaign came to a head in the UK over the weekend of 6/7 June 2020 with the toppling of the statue of slave-trader Edward Colston and its deposit in the harbour in Bristol. This prompted subsequent action in Bristol and elsewhere; last year, permission was granted for the removal of some stained-glass elements from the north transept memorial window of Edward Colston; and inscriptions on two headstones at St Margaret’s Church, Rottingdean have been considered by the consistory courts, here and here.

This year, the Church of England’s Church Buildings Council and Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England published the guidance Contested Heritage in Cathedrals and Churches; this “addresses issues of contested heritage in the Church of England’s cathedral and church buildings, their settings and their historic interiors”. On 24 May 2021, the consistory court of the Diocese of Oxford handed down the judgement Re St Peter and St Paul Olney [2021] ECC Oxf 2 in which issues of “contested heritage” are considered further.

Re St Peter and St Paul Olney Continue reading