Review of the governance of English Cathedrals

The Church of England has announced the establishment by the two Archbishops of Cathedrals Working Group, (CWG), to look into the way its cathedrals are governed, their accountability and how financial decisions are made. The working party will include financial specialists and other experts and will be chaired by the Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Adrian Newman, with the Dean of York, the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, as his deputy. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 2nd April

We managed to avoid initiating or endorsing “fake news” on April Fool’s Day…

…although we did enjoy Bishop Paul Bayes’ tweet: “Anglican news: Sodor & Man annexes @LivDiocese. Bp of Warrington invokes Article 50. @paulbayes flees, demands Methodist/CofE citizenship“. However, at L&RUK we will continue to report on issues relating to Brexit, which has tended to attract “fake news” and misinformation from both sides.

Talking of which … Brexit

The Brexit process began on Wednesday, when the UK Ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, handed over the Prime Minister’s formal letter of notification under Article 50 TEU to the President of the European Council. Continue reading

York Minster constables given police powers

York Minster Police to have same powers as regular police constables within the cathedral’s precinct

A Press Release from York Minister announced that for the first time in nearly 80 years, its Minster Police will soon hold the same powers as regular police constables within the cathedral’s precinct. Although the Minster Police is a private police force, its Cathedral Constables have recently undergone specialist training and will soon be attested giving them the power of arrest within the cathedral and its boundaries. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 15th January

The usual mix of the newsworthy, the obscure and the faintly ridiculous… 

Historic abuse in Northern Ireland…

The final report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry has been submitted to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and will be published on Friday 20 January (though whether Northern Ireland will still have an Executive on 20 January is another question entirely). The investigation, which started in 2013, has been chaired throughout by Sir Anthony Hart, a retired judge of the Northern Ireland High Court. It looked primarily into cases of abuse that took place in 22 residential homes for children between 1922 and 1995. Continue reading

Peterborough Cathedral: Michael Sadgrove’s thoughts on the visitation report

Michael Sadgrove, Dean Emeritus of Durham, has kindly permitted us to cross-post Peterborough Cathedral: thoughts on the visitation report, first published on his blog Woolgathering in North East England on 9 January 2017.

The Bishop of Peterborough has recently conducted a visitation of his Cathedral. His charge is now published. It makes interesting reading.

Some may be wondering what a Cathedral visitation actually is. The answer is that it is a legal process whereby the Bishop as the “Visitor” of his or her Cathedral engages in a formal review or audit of aspects of the Cathedral’s mission and life. Articles of inquiry addressed to the Chapter set out the scope of the visitation. Written answers will be followed up by interviews and meetings. The Bishop’s areas of concern frequently reflect challenges that the Cathedral may have faced, for example in financial management, compliance or governance. But a visitation does not need to be a response to real or perceived problems. Continue reading

Churches, Minsters and Cathedrals

Legal distinctions between the designation of Church of England churches

During his visit to  Hull on 7 November, the Archbishop of York announced that Holy Trinity church would be re-dedicated as a Minster “in recognition of its inspiring regeneration, physically and spiritually”. To many Anglicans as well asst-gregory-minster-img_183092 non-Anglicans, the “Minster” designation is confusing, since it is applied to a range of buildings from some of smallest places of worship, such as St Gregory’s Minster, Kirkdale, N Yorks, (photo inset) to York Minster, the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe, (photo below). This post sets out to unravel the legal and other distinctions between churches, minsters, and cathedrals, and summarize their respective status within the Church of England. Continue reading