Annex 11i - CCG4E - What happens when a church is closed

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Pastoral Measure Code of Practice Annex 11i
December 2009
CHURCH COMMISSIONERS
CLOSED CHURCHES GUIDANCE NOTE
CCG 4
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHURCH IS
CLOSED
4E – WHERE NO SUITABLE USE IS FOUND
A Guidance Note for Parochial Clergy and Church
Officers
September 2008 Edition
Closed Churches Division
Church House
Great Smith St
London
SW1P 3AZ
You may obtain further copies of this note by telephoning 020 7898 1783
or email [email protected]
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Pastoral Measure Code of Practice Annex 11i
December 2009
These notes set out the procedures for closing a church and deciding its future.
They also explain the roles of various Church and secular bodies within that
process. There are five parts:Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Closing a Church
The Effect of Closure
Seeking a Use
Procedures for Implementing a New Use for a Church
Where No Suitable Use is Found
If you would like further information on local questions or diocesan policy, the
Secretary of the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee will be able to help
you. If you would like further information about anything contained in this note or
on any of the procedures under the Pastoral Measure, please go to
http://www.ccpastoral.org.
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Pastoral Measure Code of Practice Annex 11i
December 2009
4E – WHERE NO SUITABLE USE IS FOUND
A Guidance Note for Parochial Clergy and Church
Officers
16.
If No Suitable Use is Found
Where a suitable alternative use cannot be found, the Commissioners have to
decide between vesting the redundant building in the Churches Conservation
Trust for preservation, or demolition. A proposal for demolition that is contested
by certain bodies could lead to a non-statutory public inquiry.
16.1
Suitable alternative uses are found in the majority of cases but this may
not always be the case. Where, therefore, the Commissioners agree that
the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee (DMPC) has made all
reasonable attempts to identify a suitable alternative use and these have
proved unsuccessful – usually within three years of the closure of the
building but sooner than that if it is clear that further use-seeking efforts
are unlikely to produce a use - the Commissioners have to decide
between:(a)
(b)
vesting the building in the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT); or
demolition.
17.
Preservation by the CCT
17.1
To qualify for consideration for preservation by the CCT, a closed church
is likely to be of historic and archaeological interest or possess
architectural qualities. Other factors which the Commissioners are likely to
take into account in considering the claims of a church to be vested in the
CCT are:(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
the Church Building Council’s advice;
the likely cost of preservation;
whether the CCT has sufficient resources to meet the cost of
repairing and maintaining the building;
relevant pastoral and practical considerations; and
other potential vesting candidates.
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Pastoral Measure Code of Practice Annex 11i
17.2
December 2009
If the Commissioners agree that a church should be vested in the CCT,
they will prepare and publish a draft pastoral (church buildings disposal)
scheme which contains the relevant provisions with respect to:(a)
(b)
(c)
the vesting of the building and, in exceptional circumstances, the
vesting of all or part of the churchyard;
the vesting of the contents;
the provision of rights of way and access.
17.3
The procedure for publication of the draft scheme and consideration of any
adverse representations is the same as that for a use scheme as set out in
paragraphs 9.3–9.5.
17.4
The scheme will usually take effect upon the date that it is made by the
Commissioners.
18.
Legal Effects of Consecration
18.1
Closed churches which are vested in the CCT (and [parts of] churchyard
or curtilage which are similarly vested) remain consecrated but cease to
be subject to faculty jurisdiction. They are, however, fully subject to the
normal listed building and conservation area controls.
19.
Demolition
19.1
Where no suitable use is identified, and the closed church building is not
regarded as of sufficient quality to be vested in the CCT, the
Commissioners will publish a draft pastoral (church buildings disposal)
scheme providing for its demolition and the disposal of any materials
arising from the demolition. The scheme will also empower the
Commissioners to dispose of the site of the building and all or part of any
annexed land, and will provide for the disposal of the contents (see
Section 11). The procedure for publication of the draft scheme and
consideration of representations is as set out in paragraphs 9.3-9.5.
19.2
The Commissioners and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government have agreed a procedure under which, in certain
circumstances, the latter will be asked by the Commissioners if he wishes
to hold what is called a non-statutory local public inquiry into contested
proposals to demolish, wholly or partly, a listed closed church or an
unlisted church in a conservation area. In effect this requires sustained
objections to the draft scheme from one or more of the CBC, EH, the LPA
or one of the National Amenity Societies. The Commissioners have
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Pastoral Measure Code of Practice Annex 11i
December 2009
undertaken to abide by the Secretary of State’s decision in such
circumstances.
19.3
Given the cost of pursuing a non-statutory inquiry, and the uncertainty of
the outcome, the Commissioners are reluctant to agree to demolition
unless there is clear evidence that all possible alternatives have been
explored and exhausted.
19.4
Once a pastoral (church buildings disposal) scheme providing for
demolition takes effect, the Commissioners will liaise with the diocese over
the appointment of agents who will obtain tenders for the demolition from
reputable contractors and make a recommendation accordingly.
19.5
Occasionally the prospective purchaser of the site will undertake the
demolition as the Commissioners’ “agent”, subject to full compliance with
the relevant regulations.
19.6
When considering the disposal of a cleared site the Commissioners will
consult the diocese on whether there is a need to include special
covenants. In practice these are usually only likely to be relevant if the site
adjoins a parsonage or other church property, where some control over
the future use of the site is desirable.
20.
Legal Effects of Consecration
20.1
Unless otherwise stated, when the scheme is brought into effect, the legal
effects of consecration automatically cease to apply to:(a)
(b)
all or part of a closed church building which is demolished;
all or part of any churchyard or curtilage which is disposed of with
the cleared site of a demolished building.
20.2
Where the cleared site of a demolished church is added to annexed
churchyard or becomes part of the churchyard that previously surrounded
the building, it will automatically become subject to the legal effects of
consecration.
21.
Churchyard or Curtilege not Dealt with by Scheme
21.1
Churchyard or curtilage that is not dealt with as described in paragraphs
18.1 and 20.1 remains subject to both the legal effects of consecration and
faculty jurisdiction. The PCC continues to have full responsibility for the
maintenance of such land, and should also ensure that third party cover is
maintained for the area for which it is responsible irrespective of whether
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Pastoral Measure Code of Practice Annex 11i
December 2009
the other part of the land is in different ownership as a result of the
scheme.
6
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