This post include links to:
relating to “church treasures”, on which a further post is in preparation.
- Re St Andrew, Thornhaugh  Peterborough Const. Ct., T.R. Fitzwalter Butler Ch.. Sale of the “Russell Helmet”.
- Re St James the Great, Gretton,  Ely Const. Ct. Coningsby Ch. Disposal of a pair of silver gilt flagons*.
- Re St. Mary the Virgin Burton Latimer  Peterborough Const. Ct, Thomas Coningsby Ch. (Peterborough). Permission refused for sale of Georgian silver flagon and matching alms dish dated 1774, a silver chalice and paten dated 1570 and the surviving part of an illuminated medieval missal.
- Re St. Mary the Virgin Burton Latimer  Court of Arches (Peterborough). Appeal dismissed for the reasons given by the Chancellor in his judgment: the application to sell the silver was premature; there was no immediate financial crisis; planning permission had not yet been obtained; there had not yet been any appeal for funds.*
- Re St. Peter Shaldon  Exeter Const. Ct, Sir David Calcutt Ch. In spite of reservations by a few parishioners, the Chancellor approved the acceptance of a gift of a silver chalice and paten in memory of a former regular worshipper at the church.
- Re St Peter’s, Draycott,  Fam 93. Appeal granted against Petitioners’ use of the proceeds of sale of the Burges font to defray these and other maintenance costs.
- Re Welland St. James  Worcester Const. Ct, Mynors Ch. Faculty granted authorizing the disposal by auction sale of two items of silverware.
- In re St Ebbe with Holy Trinity and St Peter-le-Bailey, Oxford  PTSR 235. Pair of wooden chests, one a rare 13th century elm coffer, “sold” at auction without the necessary authorisation and further “sold” on; without faculty authorization “no legal ownership … passed to any subsequent possessors.”
- Re St Lawrence Wootton  Winchester Const. Ct, Christopher Harvey Clark Ch.* PCC was short of funds and wished to sell the armet; consent of heirs at law was obtained. The Chancellor decided that financial justification for sale was proved by the Petitioners, and granted a faculty. [Overturned by Arches Court].
- Re St. Mary the Virgin Selling  Canterbury Const Ct, Ellis Comm. Gen. Faculty granted for the sale to the National Maritime Museum of two flags taken from the Battle of Trafalgar, one a Union Flag from HMS Minotaur, the other an Austrian ensign believed to have been taken from the Spanish ship Neptuno.
- Re St Mary, Bourne Street  London Const. Ct, Gau Dep. Ch. An application for sale of High Mass sets of vestments – a red set, a green set and a gold set – based solely on matters of aesthetics: “to the untutored eye might be deemed sumptuous even to the most jaded of Spanish Cardinals”.
- Re St. Lawrence Oakley with Wootton St. Lawrence  Court of Arches, reviewed in our post Sale of “Church Treasures”, the “Wootton St Lawrence Armet”. Arches Court allowed appeal against sale. (14 April 2014)*.
- Re St Mary Magdalene, South Bersted  Chichester Const. Ct, Hill Ch. Petitioners sought permissions for removal and disposal of a number of redundant or dilapidated items. The issue of chattels vs treasure is discussed.
- In re St John the Baptist, Penshurst  Court of Arches. Arches Court permitted relocation and modification of chancel screen for use in another church, despite challenge by Victorian Society.
- Re Holy Cross Scopwick  Mark Bishop Ch. (Lincoln). Petition for removal and disposal of a bell by way of a sale through the Keltek Trust. Court granted permission for bell to be removed to the diocesan store.
- Re St. James the Great Flockton  ECC Lee 4. A decluttering exercise by the church; however, none of the items amounted to a “church treasure”.
- Re Coombes Parish Church  ECC Chi 5. Following its theft and return, an interim faculty was granted for the safe keeping of the Coombes corpus. The Court subsequently granted permission for a long-term loan to Chichester Cathedral – 10 years, renewable – subject to agreement between the parties involved.
- Re St James Church Kirk  ECC Bla 4 which involved an initially interim loan of a much older but unringable bell from a closed church to Lancashire Museum Services.
- Re a redundant church bell,  ECC Oxf 11. Court considered petition for retention at ground floor level of a redundant bell. Judgment anonymized on security grounds.
- Re Jesus College Cambridge¸  Ely 2. Rustat memorial judgment.
- Re St James Church Kirk  ECC Bla 3. Removal of a ring of eight bells at the closed church at Over Kellet to another church in the diocese.
- Church court resolves historic flags conflict. Faculty granted for the sale to the National Maritime Museum of two flags taken from the Battle of Trafalgar. (16 May 2013).
- Painting an accurate picture. Review of Re St Stephen Walbrook  London Cons Ct (22 July 2013).
- Sale of “Church Treasures”. Re St. Lawrence Oakley with Wootton St. Lawrence  Court of Arches. (21 April 2014).
- Church to burn Union Flags. Review of Re St Mary Magdalene South Bersted  Chichester Cons Ct, Mark Hill Ch. (15 September 2014).
- Shakespeare’s Skull – Church court rejects Gothic fiction. Despite impression given in media, Chancellor preferred experts’ opinion to fanciful speculation. Comment on Re St Leonard Beoley  Worcester Const Ct, Charles Mynors Ch (4 November 2015).
- Gorilla’s head leads to return of church relic: A cautionary tale of “church treasures”. Review of judgments, and Comments on Re Coombes Parish Church  ECC Chi 5. (22 June 2016).
- Removal of bells from a closed church. Review of Re St James Church Kirk  ECC Bla 3 which concerned removal of a ring of eight bells at the closed church at Over Kellet, and the earlier case Re St James Church Kirk  ECC Bla 4 which involved an initially interim loan of a much older but unringable bell from the same closed church to Lancashire Museum Services. (19 August 2022).
- “Church treasures”: an unnecessary classification? <in preparation>
Issues relating to “church treasures” are covered extensively in Charles Mynors’ book Changing Churches, Bloomsbury (2016) pp 344-352, and in Professor Mark Hill’s Ecclesiastical Law (4th Edition) pp 242-244.
- The Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 as amended by the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018, Schedule 3, Part 2 and the Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019, SI 1184. Here, “church treasures” fall within the various provisions relating to “the conservation, alteration or disposal of an article of special historic, architectural, archaeological or artistic interest”;
- Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011, No 3, Part 6 of which includes a section on vesting of property and other supplementary provisions, sections 71 to 78, and section 79 which concerns the preservation of churches closed for regular public worship by the Secretary of State.
- Treasure Act 1996, present version; Treasure Act 1996, as enacted.
In parallel with the considerations of the sale and disposal of “church treasures” in the consistory courts, the Church Buildings Council has issued:
- Guidance Note: Treasures, (2014).
- Policy on the Sale of Treasures from Churches, (undated).
- A brief guide to disposals and loans, March 2021.
As noted earlier, although CBC guidance notes are issued under statutory authority, individual notes are not documents with statutory authority as they themselves have not been approved by General Synod or Parliament. Nevertheless, Chancellors are required to give them “appropriate weight” in their deliberations.
- Paul Foster: Goring Revisited: George Bell, The Artist Hans Feibusch, and Art in Church. ELJ  6, (28), 36-46. (January 2001).
- Philip Petchey: Hidden Treasure: the Church of England’s stewardship of its silver plate. ELJ , 20 , (1), 16 – 50, (January 2018).
- A G Guest: Treasure Found on Consecrated Ground. ELJ  20, (2), 185 – 190 (8 May 2018).
Post last updated, 18:47 on 27 August 2022.