Diocese of Chichester

The Consistory Court of the Diocese of Chichester

Welcome to the webpage for the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Chichester. Parochial clergy, churchwardens, inspecting architects/surveyors and others will need to be familiar with the practice and procedure of the Consistory Court in the exercise of the faculty jurisdiction which affects all proposed changes to the fabric or content of church buildings. The webpage seeks to act as a repository for relevant material, and suggestions for its improvement are welcome.

A number of significant changes of substance and procedure were introduced with effect from 1 April 2020. These have led to revisions to the Chancellor’s General Directions and the Churchyard Regulations. Although the General Directions provide a helpful summary of the working of the faculty jurisdiction, they are no substitute for the primary resources. Those concerned with the faculty jurisdiction should be familiar with the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018, which is a consolidating statute bringing together earlier legislation in a single consolidated statute.

The process and procedure in the Consistory Court is to be found in the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015. These Rules were amended and re-numbered by subsequent amending legislation with effect from 1 April 2020; and were further amended with effect from 1 July 2022. The version here incorporates all the new changes and should be used in preference to the older versions of Rules which are now effectively obsolete.

The revised Rules include new versions of List A and List B which significantly extend the classes of work which may be undertaken without a faculty.

Also included on this website are the judgments issued by the Chancellor which are illustrative of ecclesiastical law as it applies in specific situations. Those wanting a fuller overview of the ecclesiastical law of the Church of England should consult Mark Hill, Ecclesiastical Law (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Please consult the following resources:

The Chancellor of the Diocese of Chichester is Professor Mark Hill QC. He is the judge of the Consistory Court and is responsible for determining whether or not a faculty should be granted. Usually this is on the basis of written representations, although sometimes it is necessary to convene hearings which normally take place in the church concerned. The Deputy Chancellor is Robin Hopkins.

All communications concerning the Consistory Court should be directed to the Registrar, Mr Darren Oliver.