CCTV in Churches – windows into men’s souls?

Diocesan guidance on CCTV to reflect government Code of Practice

Churches have been encouraged to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) as an aid to the security of their contents and personnel, and in relation to hate crime and terrorist threats. Until recently, the church courts’ considerations of the installation of audio-visual equipment within a church have been restricted to petitions concerning projectors, screens, &c. However, a recent judgment in the diocese of Canterbury has addressed the use and storage of CCTV footage, data protection, and recommended what criteria might be adopted in the future.  Continue reading

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

Bishops, the Burns Report, and the Prime Minister

On 20 February, the Prime Minister wrote to the Lord Speaker on the subject of proposals in the Burns Committee Report on reducing the size of the House of Lords.  Commenting, Lord Fowler, the Lord Speaker, said:

‘I very much welcome the Prime Minister’s recognition of the careful and considered work done by Lord Burns and his Committee, and her recognition of the overwhelming support within the House for the report’s recommendations. Her statement means that the plan to reduce numbers in the House of Lords is on course. The case for a reduction has now been accepted by all party leaders. Continue reading

Wi-Fi in churches: the Government-Church Accord

A  more detailed analysis of the Accord on digital connectivity

On 18 February, details were published of an accord (“the Accord”), signed by the Church of England’s NCIs, DCMS and Defra, which encourages the Church of England to use its buildings and other property to improve broadband, mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity for local communities. The main features of the Accord are summarized below and the implications considered.  Continue reading

Digital connectivity with the CofE

Accord between CofE’s NCIs and HMG on digital connectivity

An Accord, signed by the National Church Institutions (NCIs) of the Church of England, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), encourages the Church of England to use its buildings and other property to improve broadband, mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity for local communities.  Continue reading

“…and a nave with en suite facilities”

Proposals on the installation of toilets in churches

The report in the Daily Telegraph Vicar sparks row with parishioners over ‘undignified’ church toilet plan has again raised the issue of the installation of toilet and kitche facilities in historic churches. Whilst the story produced popular copy for the paper, the circumstances and parishioners’ objections are far from new. Continue reading