Monday, 14 April 2014

Compounding Chancel Repair Liability

I am frequently asked questions about compounding chancel repair liability or paying the PCC off to remove the liability under the 1923 Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Measure.
What is in the public domain is the Church Commissioners  default calculation  to compound the liability but prior to reaching there it seems to make it clear that if a  PCC and the landowner(s) come to a reasonable agreement there would be no need for it to be sent to the church commissioners.  As long as the Diocesan Board of Finance was happy the setting of a figure could come about by negotiation between all the parties.

How Much Money?

The method of calculation is complicated and  dependent on the state of the chancel but there is one figure that is in the public domain and that is Aston Cantlow at the cost of £36,500 for an entire chancel in good condition. From what I have read this figure was arrived at by being sent to the Church Commissioners and so it is reasonable to assume that this could be near the compounding figure for an average chancel in good condition. I have heard of two other figures being bandied around for other chancels one of £40,000 and another for a small chancel with a compounding figure of £25,000.
The vast majority of landowners will be responsible for part of chancel either by a fair division of the liability over enclosure land or by the apportionment by the 1936 tithe act. Although some writers say a partial removal  is  not possible it is actually quite possible but needs to be done through the official channels.

The Power of the PCC

One concerning issue is that although the power resides in the diocesan authority which is probably the Diocesan Board of Finance the PCC could end up misusing it's power and position. I have to hope and pray that each PCC that has chosen to go the way of compounding has acted fairly, with integrity and entered into a spirit of mediation with the relevant landowners.

No comments:

Post a Comment