Guidance to churches on flooding

On Sunday 27 December, the Diocese of York published links to guidance for those whose church is at risk of flooding, or has been flooded; the Church of England has prayers for people affected by flooding, here, which recipients of the guidance were encouraged to use.


The 2-page Checklist for church properties to prepare for flooding prepared by Ecclesiastical Insurance focusses on simple actions that can be taken to reduce the damage a flood may cause, but also includes practical advice on drying out and cleaning up property and undertaking any repairs or replacements after flood damage. It highlights: the importance of making a photographic record of areas or items affected by flood water; retention of damaged items until advised by the insurers; ensuring that any emergency works comply with Listed Building legislation, if appropriate; health and safety issues associated with contaminated flood water. Continue reading

Neutral citations for consistory court judgments

The Ecclesiastical Judges Association has decided that neutral citations should be introduced for judgments of consistory courts, in line with the practice for citing judgments of the secular courts. In short, the citation will consist of:

  1. the year;
  2. for consistory courts, “ECC” followed by a three-letter abbreviation for the diocese: e.g. “Chi” for “Chichester”; or
  3. in the case of appeals, “EACC” for the Court of Arches or “EACY” for the Chancery Court of York; and
  4. the number of the judgment for the particular year in question.

The Dean of Arches and Auditor, Charles George QC, has issued the following Practice Direction setting out the new system in detail: Continue reading

End of Year Quiz – 2015

As in previous years, we have compiled a quiz concerning events in law and religion during 2015, many of which have featured in our posts.  Answers will be published on Saturday, 9 January 2016.

IMG_2055(5)1. Where did an entrepreneur and a topless protester spend Christmas in 2014?

2. What organization was praised for its “great effort, responsibility, commitment and dedication” despite suffering from “a catalogue of … diseases” and “scandals”?

3. How and when did Israel vanish from the Middle East? Continue reading

Columba Declaration: Church of Scotland and Church of England

Today the Church of Scotland and the Church of England jointly announced that they had reached an historic agreement that recognises their longstanding ecumenical partnership and lays the groundwork for future joint projects. The Press Releases state:

The Church of Scotland and the Church of England reach an historic agreement

24 December 2015

The Church of Scotland and the Church of England have reached an historic agreement that recognises their longstanding ecumenical partnership and lays the groundwork for future joint projects.

The agreement called The Columba Declaration is set out in a 15-page report by the Joint Study Group,”Growth in Communion, Partnership in Mission”. Continue reading

Military Chapels and same sex marriage

Slow progress in this area was anticipated by both Houses when the Regulations were debated last year

On 7 December, Madeleine Moon (Bridgend)(Lab) asked the following “Named day” question on religious buildings on military bases, [18992]:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many military chapels there are in England and Wales; and how many such chapels are registered to conduct (a) same-sex and (b) other marriages”.

In reply, the Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces), Penny Mordaunt, (Portsmouth North) (Con) answered on 14 December:

“There are 190 military chapels in England and Wales registered for marriages under the rites of Church of England or otherwise, as described under sections 69 and 70 [respectively] of the 1949 Marriage Act. The Ministry of Defence allows same-sex marriages in military chapels, but none of the Sending Churches [Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Church of Scotland, Presbyterian, Baptist Union, United Reformed, Congregational, Free Church of Scotland, Elim Pentecostal, Assemblies of God, Salvation Army] using the chapels currently allows same-sex marriages to be conducted there. I have asked the Chaplaincies of the three Services to advise me on how Parliament’s sanction of same sex-marriages may be fully implemented”. Continue reading

Consistory court judgments – 2015

Index to consistory court judgments reviewed in 2015

The judgments reviewed by L&RUK in 2015 have been grouped under the following headings:

As from 1 January 2016, judgments in the ecclesiastical courts will be given a neutral citation number.

Continue reading

Consistory court judgments – December

A summary of consistory court judgments published late-November and during December

In our monthly round-ups of consistory court judgments, we have started adding links to assist readers in selecting those of particular interest. An index of the later judgments in 2015 has also been published, here.

At the end of each summary there is a link to the full text of these judgment on the Ecclesiastical Law Association web site. Those marked (*) were refused. In addition, to the judgments considered below, this month we posted Time-limited storage of cremation “ashes” on the legal issues surrounding temporary and permanent storage of “ashes” raised in Re Astwood Cemetery [2014] Worcester Const Ct, Charles Mynors Ch.

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