Guildford Consistory Court: Jordan Ch, October 2003
The Rector and churchwardens sought a faculty to introduce an icon to the east wall of the chancel of the church. The widow and friends of a founding member of the Friends of St Nicholas had presented the icon to the church. It was drawn from Eastern Orthodoxy depicting Christ in majesty. The PCC unanimously recommended its installation to the left of the altar. There were various objections, although no parties opponent. The objections included: the fact that there would be an unbalanced appearance, the appearance of a strongly coloured piece of Eastern Orthodox art was inconsistent with the interior of a fourteenth century chancel, that it would be a focus away from the altar cross, and that there should have been the creation of a piece of locally commissioned art. The chancellor concluded that the introduction of the icon was not unlawful, that a judgment on aesthetics was not a function of the chancellor where it was not established by objective criteria that the works were out of keeping with the building, that the objection to the installation of the icon in a particular location was immaterial if it was a worthy addition to the church, that diversity of style is often seen as an enhancing element, that any church may have different foci as different aspects of the divine image and that the introduction of a traditional, though foreign, piece of imagery was not wrong in principle. The faculty was granted.
(2005) 8 Ecc LJ 112