Archbishops write to Independent Reviewer re: Sheffield See

In our 11 March post we expressed our agreement with the comments in Dr Sentamu’s  announcement that “there must now be time for us all to reflect” on events in Sheffield and in the wider Church”; we also suggested that it would be appropriate to refer the matter for assessment by the Independent Reviewer, Sir Philip Mawer under the terms of paragraph 27 in the House of Bishops Declaration GS Misc 1087:

Today, the Archbishops of Canterbury and of York issued the following joint statement indicating that they had written to Sir Philip Mawer to address the concerns that have arisen in the Church following recent events.

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Funeral fees pursued in Crown Court

Former vicar sentenced for fraud in Liverpool Crown Court

On 23 March 2017, the Liverpool Echo reported An alcoholic vicar stole more than £100,000 in funeral fees from the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool and blew it on booze. Rather more sympathetically, the Archdeacon of Liverpool issued a Statement regarding [Michael] Fry which commenced:

“We are pleased that Michael has been a given a suspended sentence [and] believe that justice has been done. Continue reading

Groundwater pollution from cemeteries

How will new guidance impact on development of cemeteries?

On 14 March, the Environment Agency (EA) issued a new tranche of guidance on groundwater protection. That relating to cemeteries is of particular importance in view of the current shortage of burial space and the need for future development, either by the extension of existing cemeteries or the creation of new ones, including grave plot reuse and ‘lift and deepen’ methods. This post outlines the underlying provisions, discusses their application, and examines some of the apparent inconsistencies.   Continue reading

Peterborough Cathedral Visitation: Update

On 13th March 2017, the Second Church Estates Commissioner Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered written question 67095 from Stewart Jackson MP on Peterborough Cathedral.

Mr Stewart Jackson (Peterborough): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress has been made on addressing the financial difficulties at Peterborough Cathedral; and if she will make a statement.

Dame Caroline Spelman: In addition to the answer given on 13 October 2016 to written question 47672, on 6th January 2017 the Bishop of Peterborough issued a visitation charge to the Cathedral Chapter and published his directions to improve governance at the Cathedral.  Continue reading

Municipal cemetery development and the faculty jurisdiction

The boundary between ecclesiastical and statutory legislation

The challenges faced by cemeteries and churchyards in meeting the current shortage of burial space have been considered in earlier posts, primarily in relation to the re-use of graves and more recently in the case of the development of a private cemetery. The recently-reported example of Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries broadens these considerations to the wholesale development of areas of consecrated ground within a municipal cemetery, and the interface between the faculty jurisdiction and secular provisions. Continue reading

“Three-parent babies” in UK from 2018?

Further progress towards the application of mitochondrial donation

Following the 15 December announcement by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that it had approved “the cautious use of mitochondrial donation in treatment, we posted Three-parent babies” in UK from 2017?” The HFEA has now announced that it has granted the first UK licence to the team at the Newcastle Fertility at Life , which indicated that, realistically, Continue reading