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Lupton Fawcett's ecclesiastical law practice is the largest in the north of England. With over 25 years experience in this specialist and technical area of law, we can advise on all issues and legal problems that face clergy, parishes and dioceses in the Church of England.

Directors Lionel Lennox, Peter Foskett and Caroline Mockford are recognised specialists in the field of ecclesiastical law, and Lupton Fawcett is pleased to be able to support their respective appointments in the Church of England.

At our York office:

Caroline Mockford is Registrar of the Province of York and Registrar of the Diocese of York.

Lionel Lennox is Registrar of Tribunals for the Clergy Discipline Measure 2005 and Registrar of the Diocese of Sodor and Man. He is Deputy Registrar of the Province of York and Deputy Registrar of the Diocese of York.


At our Leeds office:

Peter Foskett is Registrar of the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.


Our Ecclesiastical Law Department is supported by legal secretaries and clerks at our York and Leeds offices.

Together Lionel, Caroline and Peter are avalable to provide in these three dioceses support and assistance to

  • 1299 churches
  • 710 clergy
  • 943 parishes
  • 9 archdeacons
  • 11 bishops

(The statistics are drawn from the Church of England Yearbook 2015)

Prominent areas in which we regularly advice and act/can help include:

  • appointment of clergy and employment staff
  • marriage law
  • church buildings and the faculty jurisdiction
  • burial law, memorials and exhumations
  • parish re-organisation
  • charites and trusts
  • church lands, glebe, church houses and church halls

Churches encounter legal question and challenges which involve secular as well as ecclesiastcal law. Lionel, Caroline and Peter pair their expert advice with colleagues in other key areas of law - frequently employment, property, charity, company regulatory such as data protection, and commercial agreements.

The dispute resolution department at York has substantial experience in acting for parishes and clergy in litigation over church land and rights of way over land, employment and other disputes.

Bringing together legal experience and expertise from more than one area when necssary, means you can be assured you will receive a fully considered perspective to the issues faced.

Although the Ecclesiastical Department is much engaged on work for the three dioceses of which the Directors are diocesan registrars and bishop's legal secretaries, we are available to advise clergy, parishes, boards and councils in other dioceses (as long as there is no conflict of interest).

We are also pleased to advise and assist clergy and administrators of Christian denominations other than the Church of England.

For further information please click on the links below:

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