Consistory court judgments – September

Relatively few consistory court judgments were published in September. These include: the substantial reordering of a Grade I church; the installation of mobile telephone antennae and dishes in the church tower; and the exhumation of a Chinese national and reinternment in a family grave. In addition, an amended version of Re St Michael and St Lawrence Fewston [2016] ECC Lee 7 was circulated. This included subsequent correspondence on the artefacts from the exhumations associated with the excavation for the Washburn Heritage Centre, and the Chancellor’s decision on which of these could be placed on public display. This round-up also summarizes the current position regarding the Bishops’ Visitations undertaken at Peterborough and Exeter Cathedrals, and lists the applications considered by the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England on 22 September.   Continue reading

Northern Ireland to retain ecclesiastical exemption from listed building consent

In May, we posted on the state of ecclesiastical exemption from listed building controls in the four jurisdictions and noted that there is no list of exempt denominations in Northern Ireland where, instead, the ecclesiastical exemption as it currently stands applies to all listed places of worship.

On 18 March, Environment Minister Mark Durkan launched a consultation on a proposal to remove the ecclesiastical exemption: his proposal was that the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland (DOENI) should issue an order under s 85(9) Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 to remove the exemption. Continue reading

Admission to Holy Communion – Church in Wales, II

Further information on admission of children to Holy Communion in the Church in Wales

Earlier this month, we reported that the Bishops of the Church in Wales had issued a Pastoral Letter concerning Admission to Holy Communion: as from the First Sunday in Advent this year, 27 November, the Bishops are giving permission to communicate “to all who are baptised in water and in the name of the Holy Trinity” [within their dioceses and jurisdictions]. The Pastoral Letter, initially posted on the St Davids diocesan site, has now been published on the CinW’s provincial website in addition to other explanatory material: Continue reading

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse suspends its senior counsel: updated

Events leading to the resignation of Ben Emmerson QC  as senior counsel to the IICSA

On 28 September The GuardianThe Times and The Telegraph all carried identical reports of a press statement by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that its senior counsel, Ben Emmerson QC of Matrix Chambers. Continue reading

Lobbying the Lords on HS2

The Lords Spiritual and Second Church Estates Commissioner, supported by the Parliamentary Unit, provide the formal interface between the Church of England and the Westminster Parliament. In addition, the legislative process is also informed by others within the Church through their responses to consultations and contributions to Select Committees. A recent example of the latter was an evidence session of the High Speed Rail Committee Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 25th September

A fairly brief roundup of a very quiet week…

Challenge to religious observance in Scottish schools

Last week, The Guardian reported that Lord Pentland, sitting in the Outer House of the Court of Session, had approved the initial draft of an application by Humanist Society Scotland for judicial review of the provision under which school pupils aged 16 and above have no right to opt out of religious observance. It will now be remitted to the Scottish Government for a response.  Continue reading