Durham Consistory Court; Bursell Ch. July 1995
When considering the lawfulness of church furnishings, the rigorist interpretation of the rubrics in the Book of Common Prayer had been swept aside and the modern approach, applying Canon B5 and the provisions of the Alternative Service Book, was more flexible. The use of acolytes' chairs, which arose from the processional carrying of candles, was permissible because the service book "Lent: Holy Week: Easter' (commended by the House of Bishops subject to Canon B5) which provided for such use of candles, was not indicative of any departure from the doctrine of the Church of England. Processions, with or without lighted candles, were prima facie doctrinally acceptable. Votive candle stands used solely to aid private devotion were permissible as long as they did not detract from the devotions of others nor from the actual services and ministrations within the church. Since the liturgical use of incense was contemplated by the service book 'The Promise of His Glory' and in any event was a variation not of substantial importance, the introduction of a thurible and stand was lawful. The use of a sanctus bell fell within the ambit of Canon B5.1 and was also legal; and in so far as the use of the beil accompanied the elevation of the host, the lifting of the sacrament higher than was strictly necessary amounted to no more than a dramatic gesture which was permissible so long as the minister did not intend to convey or promote a doctrine contrary to the tenets of the Church of England. A holy water stoup could no longer be regarded as an unlawful ornament, particularly if it was used for private devotion. Accordingly a faculty issued in respect of all the items mentioned in the judgment. Re St. Thomas, Pennywell  2 WLR 154 followed.
(1996) 4 Ecc LJ 529