Of the wide range of guidance issued by the Church Buildings Council (CBC), that entitled “Seating” is one of the more prescriptive, and last month we reviewed its application following recent consideration in the consistory courts. A further judgment has been handed down which re-states its advisory status, queries the rationale of an important aspect of this guidance, and raises important issues on the perception of aspects of the petition. Continue reading →
“many countries in Western Europe, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, and Italy, retain legislation on blasphemy, defamation of religion, or ‘anti-religious remarks’, though these laws are seldom enforced. In one promising development, Ireland’s coalition government announced in May 2016 its intention to hold a referendum on the removal of its blasphemy law” .
Review of the ecclesiastical court judgments during June 2017
Of the ten consistory court judgments reviewed this month, four have involved requests for confirmatory faculties in cases where the Petitioner had disregarded the requirements of ecclesiastical law: Re St Nicholas Fundenhallwhere the Chancellor’s earlier unambiguous direction was not taken into consideration; Re St Andrew Buxtonin which the PCC proceeded without reference to the consistory court; and two examples of clear infringement of Churchyard Regulations, Re New Lonan Churchyard and Re St Mary Roughton. Continue reading →
And in a week overshadowed by the horrendous fire at Grenfell Tower and the fallout from the General Election …
Access for Northern Ireland women to free abortion in England
On Thursday we posted Frank’s analysis of R (A and B) v Secretary of State for Health UKSC 41 in which the Supreme Court considered:
Was the Secretary of State ‘s failure to exercise his power to require abortion services to be provided through the NHS in England to women ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland unlawful as a failure to discharge his duty under s 3 of the National Health Service Act 2006 to “take such steps as he considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements” for services?
Does the continuing failure to provide free abortion services in England to women ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland infringe Articles 14 (discrimination) and 8 (private and family life) ECHR?
The appeal was dismissed by a 3-2 majority, and we suggested that it is quite possible that the case is bound for Strasbourg. Continue reading →
Over the last two months, only nine new consistory court judgments have been reported. Although most of these relating to aspects of reordering, in Re Fairmile Cemetery Lower Assendon, the illegal practice of “coffin sliding” by the burial authority was brought to the attention of the Oxford consistory court. For completeness, we have also added outline details of an ECtHR case relating to churchyards, the judgment of which will be handed down early in June. In addition to links to our other posts relating to ecclesiastical law, this round-up includes summaries of cases in the following areas: Continue reading →
Last year, our August post, Pews, perceptions and practicalities, offered some thoughts on the “chairs vs pews” debate. The recent judgment on the reordering of St Margaret’s in Rainham, Kent, has prompted further consideration, this time concerning the media’s selective reporting and interpretation of consistory court judgments, as well as other related issues. Continue reading →