Ecclesiastical law covers a wide and very varied range of issues. It is our intention over the coming months to compile examples of the sort of questions which we receive from clergy and people. If you have a question which you think it would be helpful for us to address here, please let us know!


I hear that there are some changes in the law and procedure for marrying non-UK nationals. Where can I find further details?

I am a churchwarden and we want to do some work to the old churchyard wall next to our medieval church. Do we need to get listed building consent?

In view of all the concerns about Corona Virus and the need to keep a safe distance, is it possible to have a "church porch" wedding with guests watching on from the churchyard?

We would like to make some temporary alterations to the interior of our church to ensure suitable social distancing and the general safety of people using the building during this time of pandemic. Can we do this?

The Chancellor has issued an Additional Matters Order (No. 2 of 2020) specifically with this in mind. This Order permits certain temporary changes to the layout of church buildings or the installation of equipment to enable churches to remain open at this time of pandemic. There is a requirement to give the Archdeacon 7 days' notice first. The Archdeacon has power to grant consent to the proposed alterations, or he may refuse to give his consent, or he may impose conditions, or he may require further  information before reaching a decision. He also has the right to refer the matter to the Chancellor for further consideration. There is of course no substitute for reading the Order in full, and a copy may be obtained from the Diocesan Registry upon request. Please note that any alterations made under the Order must be reversed by 1 June 2021 or such later date as the Chancellor may allow. Certain temporary or minor changes (such as free standing sanitisers placed on a table, for example, or certain temporary signs marking exit points or setting out distance markings) may be permitted without having first to obtain the Archdeacon's consent. Again readers are referred to the Order for the detailed provisions.