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

“…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

Deliberate breach of faculty conditions

A diocesan chancellor’s observations

In 2014 we posted “Ignorance of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules is no excuse…”,  and expanding on this theme, “Risks of disregarding the faculty jurisdiction” in June 2016. The recent case Re St Peter & St Paul Pettistree [2017] ECC SEI 6 concerned a “deliberate and avoidable” breach of the terms of the faculty by a professional on the list of DAC-approved architects.

At the conclusion of the judgment, Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 21st January

The Irish Parliament wrestles with abortion law and, as the new Dean is installed at Peterborough, the Church of England wrestles with cathedral governance 

The Irish abortion debate

Last week, Dáil Éireann considered the report of its Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution in light of the recommendation of the Citizens’ Assembly than the constitutional ban on abortion should be repealed. Continue reading

Ecclesiastical court judgments – December

Review of the ecclesiastical court judgments during December 2017

Attached are summaries to consistory court judgments published in December. Additional judgments for December will be posted with those for January 2018.  Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 14th January

Reforming the coronial system, school lunches in France, smacking children in Wales, screening Star Wars in Stornoway – 2018 is in full swing…

…and following that comment directed at certain countries by President Trump (referred to by the BBC as “a disparaging remark”), the Revd Jody Stowell suggested that many vicars would be pondering whether they can quote him verbatim in their Sunday sermon. Baroness Jenkin of Kennington was not so constrained in the Thursday HL debate on Social Media. Prefaced by “please, my Lords, forgive the unparliamentary language and block your ears if you are sensitive or easily offended”, she repeated offensive comments made to Tory candidates during the last election; Hansard reported her speech without resort to circumlocution or asterisks.


In Inertia on inquests, Joshua Rozenberg returns to the question of the disappearance of the review of coroner services launched by the MoJ in October 2015. Everyone assumes that the overwhelming response Continue reading

Appeal on Bath Abbey pews?

Victorian Society announce application of leave to appeal

Following a two-day consistory court hearing in October, on 18 December 2017 the Chancellor of the Diocese of Bath and Wells granted permission for the permanent removal of the pews from the nave of Bath Abbey and their replacement with chairs in the main body of the church once the historic floor has been repaired, Re: The Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Bath (Bath Abbey) [2017] ECC B&Wl. In its Press Release of 10 January, the Victorian Society announced that it had applied for leave to appeal the judgment. Continue reading