Law and religion round-up – 6th August

A week that saw everything from an important ruling on the scope of the Guidance on the Prevent Duty to mistaken identity in a Cardiff pub..

Prevent

The Prevent Duty, under which “specified authorities” – includiing schools and colleges – must show “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”, is somewhat controversial. Supporters insist that it is fundamentally about safeguarding students against all forms of extremism, while critics argue that Prevent predominantly targets – and stigmatises – Muslim communities. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 30th July

A busy week, dominated by the tragic case of Charlie Gard.

Charlie Gard

We have been following the recent Charlie Gard case, but we refrained from reporting on day-to-day developments in the case because we felt that the issues involved were beyond our remit and the medical aspects were well outside our specific expertise. In his judgment in Great Ormond Street Hospital v Gard [2017] EWHC 1909 (Fam) Mr Justice Francis commented:

“A lot of things have been said, particularly in recent days, by those who know almost nothing about this case but who feel entitled to express opinions. Many opinions have been expressed based on feelings rather than facts” [1].

“The world of social media doubtless has very many benefits but one of its pitfalls, I suggest, is that when cases such as this go viral, the watching world feels entitled to express opinions, whether or not they are evidence-based” [11]. Continue reading

Heritage Lottery Fund Grants for Places of Worship Scheme: update

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced that from September 2017 it will support places of worship seeking grants for repairs through its open grant programmes rather than through its dedicated Grants for Places of Worship (GPOW) scheme. Historic England has now published details of the future pattern of support as follows:

Continue reading

Greek-Catholic church property again: Glod v Romania

Background

The Greek-Catholic parish of Glod sued the Orthodox parish of Glod for restitution of the church that had belonged to it before the dissolution of the Greek-Catholic Church by the Communist regime in 1948. It was unsuccessful before Zalău County Court; and the Court of Appeal of Cluj and the Supreme Court of Cassation and Justice upheld the judgment at first instance [4-9]. Before the Fourth Section, the applicants alleged a breach of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 ECHR (property), Continue reading

Historic England’s advice on metal theft and its aftermath

Historic England has produced a new guide, Metal Theft from Historic Buildings: prevention, response and recovery. Following is a summary of the main points, in a series of verbatim extracts from the guide.

**********

Introduction

This advice note is for churchwardens, trustees, fabric officers, volunteers and owners who care for historic buildings, especially places of worship. Preventing metal theft, especially from roofs, is the priority but dealing with an attack appropriately is crucial to protect historic buildings and keep them in use.

At Historic England, we recognise the serious impact of metal theft. As well as damage to historic buildings, it causes expense, distress and frustration. Replacement and subsequent insurance can be costly.

The note deals mainly with the of lead roofs from historic churches but the information applies to other types of building and traditional metal. It is an update of our 2011 note, The of Metal from Church Buildings, and reflects our updated advice to those dealing with metal the and how to prevent it.

Historic England’s approach to metal theft

Historic England strongly encourages the use of appropriate and traditional materials for historic buildings, particularly on roofs. Changing the material of a building’s roof could detract enormously from the building’s appearance and significance and mean that it performs less well technically. This is why we start out with the position that like-for-like replacement following theft is highly desirable, with appropriate security measures.

Traditional metals, including sand-cast and rolled lead sheet, are regarded as the most appropriate for covering historic buildings due to the following reasons: Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 9th July

Cake now off the Brexit menu…

…though not in the House of Lords for Pride 2017…

…but gluten-free is off the menu at Mass

Yesterday the BBC reported that the Vatican had ruled that the bread used in celebrations of the Eucharist must not be gluten-free. Continue reading

Religion, real property, the EU and State aid: Congregación de Escuelas Pías Provincia Betania

Article IV of the Agreement of 3 January 1979 (“the Agreement”) between the Spanish State and the Holy See concerning financial matters provides that:

“1. The Holy See, the Bishops’ Conference, dioceses, parishes and other territorial units, religious orders and congregations and ‘institutes of consecrated life’ and their provinces and houses shall be entitled to the following exemptions:

(A) …

(B) full and permanent exemption from taxes on property and earnings from property, as regards income and assets.

This exemption shall not apply to income arising from economic activities or from assets belonging to the Church in respect of which use has been assigned to third parties; nor shall it apply to capital gains or to income which is subject to deduction at source of income tax.”

The Congregación de Escuelas Pías Provincia Betania is on the register of religious entities kept by the Spanish Ministry of Justice and the Agreement applies to it. It owns a complex of buildings in Getafe and La Inmaculada school, which is run by the Congregation, is part of that complex [13]. Continue reading