Southwell Consistory Court; Shand Ch, February 1998
A faculty was sought by the PCC for the provision of a coffee bar area in the southwest corner of the church (which was not a listed building) so that coffee could be served in the church itself immediately after the Sunday morning family service, rather than in the church hall, which was separated from the church by a car park. The chancellor stated that his legal duty was to promote churches 'as centres of mission and worship', and concluded that despite an objection from a member of the church that the works would lead to the unnecessary 'secularisation' of a sacred building, the scheme was not aesthetically objectionable, and a faculty should be granted because of the overwhelming need for the coffee bar as an opportunity for mission. An objection as to the allocation of funds for such a project was also raised, but the chancellor did not regard it as part of his remit to interfere with the discretion of the PCC to allocate funds, unless they were acting in a way that was manifestly unreasonable, which they were not. Note: The legal duty under the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991, s 1, to 'have due regard to the role of a church as a local centre of worship and mission has been held by the Court of Arches not to apply to chancellors since their function was not one of'care and conservation' but of hearing and determining causes of faculty under the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963, s 6: see Re St Luke the Evangelist, Maidstone  Fam 1 at 7A-C,  1 All ER 321 at 326. The absence of this statutory duty, however, is immaterial since 'if [section 1 of the 1991 measure] had applied to the chancellors it would have added nothing to [their] existing duty and practice' (p 7D and p 326).
(1998) 5 Ecc LJ 132-133