Recent queries and comments – late December

More answers to readers’ queries and comments

Below is the final compilation of “Quick Answers”, which from 13 August 2017 have provided responses to ~170 readers’ queries, with a few general comments thrown in for good measure. In view of the disparate nature of the searches, we will not be posting an end-of-year summary, although at a later stage may publish a collated version the more frequent requests. 

General searches 

Question Quick Answer L&RUK Answer
 saflii case law § Southern African Legal Information Institute, SAFLII. Free public access to (mainly) case law from South Africa.
can anglican priest resign and work as a funeral pastor Yes. If he/she relinquishes Anglican orders under 1870 Clerical Disabilities Act is not subsequently subject to jurisdiction of CofE.
is it a legal requirement to keep a burial register for burial on private land Effectively, yes. Some consideration in: Back-garden burials? (141210)
prohibition for life clergy disciplinary measure § Prohibition is one of a range of penalties. See: CDM Code of Practice, 2003 CofE: Tribunal Decisions; See also Mark Hill’s Ecclesiastical Law site.
whose permission do I need to scatter ashes on a church graveyard plot § Scattering ashes is not lawful, but strewing is permitted, for which permission is normally through the incumbent. Strewing is pouring of the ashes directly into the ground, or directly onto the ground before immediately covering them over with earth.
pre-reformation pews There is a presumption against their removal in  ChurchCare Guidance: Seating.  Pews, perceptions and practicalities, (160811).
church of england canon 36 This might refer to Canon B36 Of a service after civil marriage, or Draft Amending Canon No. 36 on vesture at divine service.
current policy on opt-in or opt-out within organ donation the rest of the united kingdom England: Opt-out consultation, (171212); Scotland: Plans to move to soft opt-out, (17028); NI, Debating opt-out.
fees for funerals church of England Church of England, Life events parochial fees and guidance: Parochial Fees
 Crediton, abuse CofE abuse inquiry findings – Elliott Review, (160316), Response of Bishop of Crediton, Sarah Mullally, to Elliott Review

Case law related searches

During December, there have been no searches related specifically to ecclesiastical case law. 

Q&A on other areas of ecclesiastical law

Fr Z: ASK FATHER: Summaries of Fr Z’s more detailed responses to recent questions are given below

Canon Law Made Easy, Cathy Caridi

Catholic Herald

  • The CH solved the dilemma faced by the faithful this year when Christmas Eve fell on the 4th Sunday of Advent: Do I have to go to Mass twice on Christmas Eve this year?  Quick Answer: Yes, but there are four options – Sunday morning + Christmas Day; Sunday morning + Sunday evening; Saturday evening vigil + Sunday evening vigil;  Saturday evening vigil + Christmas Day.

Links to sources of frequently sought data

For those not yet familiar with the architecture of the Church of England’s revised web site, we have posted some quick links to areas of potential interest to ecclesiastical lawyers (and clergy), here, (law & policy); here, (clergy and General Synod) and here, (legal opinions and other guidance).

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). 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, "Recent queries and comments – late December" in Law & Religion UK, 30 December 2017,

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