Liverpool Consistory Court: Hedley Ch, January 2004
The petitioners sought a faculty for the reordering of this Grade II listed church by the replacement of choir stalls, pews and pew platforms with chairs and the replacement of the pulpit with a movable lectern. The purpose of the reordering was to provide greater flexibility and accessibility for worship in and community use of the church. The petition for the faculty was supported by the PCC, and (subject to conditions) the DAC and the Victorian Society. Three objections were filed by parishioners along with a ‘petition’ against the proposals signed by more than half of the members of the electoral roll of the parish. After applying the Bishopsgate questions the chancellor considered the decisions in Re St Luke’s, Chelsea  Fam 295 and Re Christ Church, Chislehurst  1 WLR 1317 in determining what weight should be attached to the ‘petition’ filed by the objectors. The chancellor made the following observations:
(i) The persons who have signed the ‘petition’ cannot be subject to cross-examination and the court cannot know what was said to them before they appended their signatures to the ‘petition’.
(ii) The Measure provides the means by which those who object to proposals may object formally.
(iii) The PCC is a democratically elected and representative body and the court must assume that a petition for a faculty presented by the minister and churchwardens with the full support of the PCC represents the views of those responsible for leadership in the parish and accountable for what they do.
The faculty was granted upon the conditions proposed by the DAC and the Victorian Society.
(2004) 7 Ecc LJ 495-496