Make the best use of church buildings urges Chancellor

Church House, Leeds was delighted to host the Diocesan Chancellor, The Worshipful Mark Hill QC, to speak at a Northern Province Lecture arranged by the Ecclesiastical Law Society.

This was the first public lecture by Chancellor Hill since the merger of the consistory courts of Bradford, Wakefield and Leeds and Ripon into a single diocesan court.

The Chancellor spoke about the practice and procedure of the consistory court with regard to the faculty jurisdiction and in particular he looked at changes to the legislation which come into force in September 2018.

Chancellor Hill was keen to stress to the many churchwardens, legal professionals and clergy who attended the lecture that the faculty system is a legal process to help churches to further their mission.

The Chancellor also encouraged all PCC members to examine how they as a community of believers can make the best use their church building, highlighting the core principle of the legislation that all involved (be that PCC, DAC, Chancellor or consultee) “shall have due regard to the role of a church as a local centre of worship and mission”.

Those who attended the lecture were encouraged by the Chancellor’s words, finding the lecture informative and easy to relate to their own church situation. Jim Rowland, Churchwarden at St Augustine’s Wrangthorn, summed up the evening:

“I was surprised and delighted to hear Chancellor Hill speak on the new Measure.

"In the hands of an expert and a passionate supporter of the Measure like Chancellor Hill, the information flowed with a sparkle.

Humour and pragmatism pervaded the lecture, with the result that I was fully engaged throughout, and came away with a much better understanding of both the reasons for the process and the way it will be administered.

"At the heart of what I learned is the imperative always to consider what the church is there for, not just preservation of buildings but most importantly its mission – though both are dear to my heart!” Mr Rowland said.

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