Church Commissioners written answer: consistory court decisions and appeals

On 19th November the Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP answered written questions on a case that is sub-judice, on non-English language inscriptions on headstones:

Conor McGinn (St Helens North, Lab): [115722] To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the appeals process against consistory court decisions to the Provincial Court of the Archbishop.

Andrew Selous: It is possible to appeal the decision of a consistory court to the provincial court of the Archbishop, with the permission of the consistory court or of the appeal court, provided that the appeal does not relate to a question of doctrine, ritual or ceremonial. The Provincial Courts of Canterbury and York are known by the names ‘The Court of Arches’ and ‘The Chancery Court of York’.

As in a temporal court the test for whether to grant permission to appeal is the same, i.e whether the appeal has a real prospect of success or there is some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard.


Conor McGinn: [115721] To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the Church of England’s policy is on the use of the Irish language (a) in its services and (b) as inscriptions or engravings on (i) headstones or (ii) other objects on Church property.

Andrew Selous: There are legal proceedings currently underway on this matter and due to the House of Commons Sub Judice Resolution the Church Commissioners are unable to provide an answer at this time.


Conor McGinn: [115720] To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the Church of England’s policy is on non-English language inscriptions on headstones in its graveyards.

Andrew Selous: There are legal proceedings currently underway on this matter and due to the House of Commons Sub Judice Resolution the Church Commissioners are unable to provide an answer at this time.