Rochester Consistory Court; Goodman Ch. December 1992
There was nothing at common law, and that included ecclesiastical law, which prevented the alienation of consecrated land per se. Restrictions which existed in the case of parish churches and churchyards were the consequences of property and trust considerations. Other consecrated buildings and land, such as cathedrals, were inalienable for other reasons. There was no common law rule to prevent the leasing of the consecrated chapel of an independent school, where the freehold was vested in the school governors, to a separate body of trustees. The statutory prohibition against dealing with consecrated land contained in Section 56(2) of the Pastoral Measure 1983 did not apply to the chapel. The sentence of consecration provided that the chapel was consecrated to 'divine' worship as opposed to 'public' worship and the public had no legal right to attend services there: it followed that the chapel was not a church as defined in Section 87(1) of the Measure and it fell outside the scope of Section 56(2). Approval was therefore given to the granting of a lease by the school governors to the trustees.
(1993) 3 Ecc LJ 122