Guildford Consistory Court; Goodman Ch. February 1994
The rector and churchwardens of a Victorian Church, built in the Early English Gothic style and enriched by a metal hanging rood screen with associated low marble walls and all designed by Lutyens, sought a faculty for re-ordering for the purpose of providing additional seating and flexibility in the use of the chancel. The petition was opposed by the Victorian Society and a local amenity society. The Petitioner's evidence demonstrated the need for more seating space, as well as space to present the Gospel in the way which they found met the needs and wishes of the congregation. Permission would accordingly be given for the removal of the choir stalls and organ case, and the extension of the chancel into the nave. Although the proposed changes would adversely affect the character of the church, a real necessity for more space for seating and the presentation of worship had been demonstrated. A case had not, however, been established for the removal of the walls, which formed an integral and essential part of Lutyens's design. Placing them elsewhere would serve no aesthetic purpose. If the walls were removed there would be a real risk of damage to them. The hearing of the petition was adjourned to chambers for detailed aspects of the proposals to be considered.
(1994) 3 Ecc LJ 258-259