Sheffield Consistory Court; McClean Ch, April 1998
A faculty for a major re-ordering scheme was granted on 4 June 1997. As the work progressed, difficulties were encountered which necessitated a variety of changes to the original plans being canvassed. The DAC was heavily involved and issued a number of certificates for various matters, although no applications were made under the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 1992, r 30(2), for variation of the faculty. An unsuitable sealant was used on internal plasterwork, loudspeakers were installed, an external notice board was erected, and a path comprising old gravestones was constructed. For none of these had a faculty been sought. The chancellor noted that a faculty was permissive and not mandatory, and referred to Re St John-in-Bedwardine, Worcester [ 1962] P 20, [ 1961 ] 3 All ER 216. He emphasised that it was not for those to whom a faculty had been granted for a large project to pick and choose at will those features which they wished to take forward. The chancellor described the repeated neglect of faculty procedures as 'culpable', and emphasised the special responsibility which rests on parishes, their officers and professional advisers. He granted retrospective amendments to the faculty in respect of certain of the works and accepted undertakings from the incumbent to cause a petition for a confirmatory faculty to be presented for others. Action regarding the irreversible chemical process used on the plasterwork was deferred pending a report from English Heritage. The petitioners were ordered to pay the court costs.
(1998) 5 Ecc LJ 135