Law and religion round-up – 9th July

Cake now off the Brexit menu…

…though not in the House of Lords for Pride 2017…

…but gluten-free is off the menu at Mass

Yesterday the BBC reported that the Vatican had ruled that the bread used in celebrations of the Eucharist must not be gluten-free. Continue reading

Clergy working expenses

Following changes in tax legislation, the working expenses agreement between the Church Commissioners and HM Revenue & Customs regarding reimbursement of certain expenses is no longer is in force. The following document is now available in the Church of England Document Library, and more detailed information on reimbursement of expenses for clergy and their tax advisor can be found here.  Continue reading

Parish Music Guidance: Ministers and organists

Part I (of 2) of our analysis of new CofE legal opinion on organists and parish music

On 4 April 2017, new and updated legal advice on a number of issues was added to the Church of England’s Document Library. In view of its relevance at the time vis-à-vis the forthcoming wedding of Pippa Middleton, we first reviewed that relating to Celebrity Marriages shortly followed by a post on Royal Marriages, prompted by media speculation relating to Prince Harry. The document Parish Music: organists and choirmasters and church musicians, (*the Opinion”) concerns organists and “all musicians in similar positions” [though clearly not “all musicians”]. This is discussed below with regard to issues concerning the music and the clergy. A further post  considers the related employment law issues. Continue reading

Celebrity Marriages (and others)

New church guidance of relevance to all CofE weddings

In February this year, the General Synod Legal Advisory Commission issued new advice on a number of issues including that of “celebrity marriages” (“the Advice”). This particular document will be of assistance to not only the clergy responsible for the conduct of such events, but for those involved in their arrangement and those wishing to attend. Furthermore, since “celebrity” affords such individuals few additional concessions in the conduct of a church service, much of the advice is applicable to all weddings. Continue reading

Legislative Business – General Synod

Much of the business of yesterday’s General Synod concerned legislative issues, and Church of England Press Release is reproduced below. This forms a useful aide memoire on the current status of the many legislative developments in progress at the present time. The Press Release relating to the Revd Stephen Trott’s PMM on the preliminaries to marriage was posted yesterday. Continue reading

Legal advice from the Church of England: PCCs, highways and post offices

Legal Opinions from the Church of England

On 24 October 2016, legal opinions on three quite disparate areas were made available in the CofE’s Document Library. These Opinions were produced by the General Synod Legal Advisory Commission and relate to the operation of Parochial Church Councils, public rights of way over land forming part of a churchyard and using churches for secular purposes. Continue reading