Ecclesiastical court judgments – December

Review of the ecclesiastical court judgments during December 2017

Attached are summaries to consistory court judgments published in December. Additional judgments for December will be posted with those for January 2018.  Continue reading

Boxing Day Quiz – 2017: The Answers

Answers to end-of-year quiz

On Boxing Day we posted our annual end of year quiz, based mainly upon events in law and religion that featured in our posts during 2017. Since then, followers of our twitter accounts have been given a few clues, but for those that did not pick these up, here are all the answers: Continue reading

Appeal on Bath Abbey pews?

Victorian Society announce application of leave to appeal

Following a two-day consistory court hearing in October, on 18 December 2017 the Chancellor of the Diocese of Bath and Wells granted permission for the permanent removal of the pews from the nave of Bath Abbey and their replacement with chairs in the main body of the church once the historic floor has been repaired, Re: The Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Bath (Bath Abbey) [2017] ECC B&Wl. In its Press Release of 10 January, the Victorian Society announced that it had applied for leave to appeal the judgment. Continue reading

Clerical abuse of spiritual power and authority

Tribunal finds priest guilty of abuse of spiritual power and authority

On Monday 8th January, the Church of England reported the findings of the Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal for the Diocese of Oxford in the matter of a complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 against The Reverend Timothy Davis, Vicar of Christ Church Abingdon, (‘TD’), in respect of the mentoring he provided to a 15/16 year old schoolboy (‘W1’) whose family were members of his congregation. The BBC reports that Church of England officials believed that this was the first occasion on which a tribunal had convicted a priest of spiritual abuse. Continue reading

Brides who arrive late

Parochial fees, discounts and “extras”

On 4 January 2018, the Daily Telegraph carried the headline Church imposes £100 fine for brides who arrive late to their own weddings. Canon John Corbyn, vicar of Holy Cross Church Bearsted, Kent, was reported to have suggested the imposition of a “£100 fine for those who can not stick to their allotted time slot and arrive late to their service”.  Subsequently, it appeared as though he may have been slightly misrepresented; he told the BBC that what he does is to offer a £100 “cashback” for punctuality.

Regardless of the exact facts of this particular case, in view of the media interest it is pertinent to consider to whether, in general, such a surcharge or reduction in fees is permissible under ecclesiastical law; the answer appears to be: “sort of”.  Continue reading