Law and religion round-up – 25th February

Surrogacy, charity, matrimony, heraldry, privacy, hospitality …

Reforming the law on surrogacy

As we noted at the time, on 14 December the Law Commission for England & Wales announced that one of the subjects to be included in its Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform would be surrogacy. The Scottish Law Commission has also now announced – in almost identical terms – that it, too, will be looking at surrogacy as part of its Tenth Programme and will do so in a joint project with the Law Commission for England and Wales. Continue reading

Heraldic memorials in churches

A “cut and keep” judgment on this obscure aspect of ecclesiastical law

A recent judgment on the installation of a hatchment in the church of St Mary Magdalene, Adlestrop, includes an examination of the arcane rules of heraldry and their present-day relevance in the Church of England. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 18th February

A week in which it appeared that some people seemed to think that attracting children into church was something to be discouraged…

HM Senior Coroner for Inner North London again

The Law Society Gazette reports that Jeremy Corbyn has entered the fray over the “cab-rank rule” adopted by HM Senior Coroner for Inner North London, Mary Hassell, for processing deaths in her coronial district. According to the report, he and the Shadow Attorney, Emily Thornberry, have written to the Chief Coroner, HHJ Lucraft QC, to the effect that Ms Hassell’s approach is “unacceptable” and that grieving relatives are experiencing “unnecessary delays and barriers to laying loved ones to rest”. Continue reading

Ecclesiastical court judgments – September

Review of the ecclesiastical court judgments during September 2017,

September’s consistory court judgments have addressed the areas listed below. Two petitions were sought by a single churchwarden within the church concerned: Re St. Michael & All Angels Ashton-on-Ribble was initiated during a vacancy and sought permission to remove a lectern, which in the churchwarden’s opinion was taking up space; and Re St. John Out Rawcliffe  in which the churchwarden assumed a new stained glass window could be installed on the basis of the DAC’s recommendation. In Re St. Leonard Ryton on Dunsmore, the Deputy Chancellor approved a memorial which did not conform to the Churchyard Regulations, and consideration was given to the use of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) for replacement of rainwater goods in Re St John the Baptist, Saints Lawrence and Anne, KnowleContinue reading

Private cemetery development

A Private Bill for cemetery development

Tuesday 7 February marked the second day of the Committee stage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. Policy wonks scouring the House of Commons Order Paper could therefore be forgiven for skipping over the section on Remaining Orders and Notices and missing the Private Business of New Southgate Cemetery Bill, the focus of this post. Whilst not quite as newsworthy as this (or even the Westminster Hall debate on overly aggressive seagulls in Torbay), it is a little closer to our core “law and religion” interests, highlights some of the issues associated with cemetery development, and provides a useful chronology of a Private Bill on this topic. Continue reading

Plaques, noticeboards and acknowledgements

Faculty jurisdiction and external signage

The commercial relationship between individual churches and external organizations frequently requires the display of clearly visible signage, often outside the church building. This was the substance of the recently-reported Re St Bartholomew Welby [2017] ECC Lei 1, in which the court considered how a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) might best be acknowledged without compromising the appearance of the Grade II* church.

However, this raises broader issues concerning the display of other external notices such as those relating to the application of forensic marking on roofing – a requirement of some insurance providers. Whilst the legislation is clear, one suspects that many such notices are appended to churches without formal faculty approval. Continue reading

Ecclesiastical court judgments 2016

Index to ecclesiastical court judgments reviewed during 2016, and links to reviews in 2014 and 2015

The judgments reviewed in L&RUK during 2016 have been grouped under the following headings. Continue reading