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Ecclesiastical Law

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, Our Ecclesiastical Solicitors can advise on all issues and legal problems that face clergy, parishes and dioceses in the Church of England.

Partners Caroline Mockford, Peter Foskett and Louise Connacher 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, the Registrar of the Diocese of York and also the Registrar of Tribunals for the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003.   

At our Leeds office:

Peter Foskett is Registrar of the Diocese of Leeds.

Louise Connacher is the Registrar of the Diocese of Sodor and Man. 

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

Together, Caroline, Peter and Louise are available 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 advise 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 reorganisation
  • charities and trusts
  • church lands, glebe, church houses and church halls

Churches encounter legal question and challenges which involve secular as well as ecclesiastical law. Caroline, Peter and Louise 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 necessary, 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 Partners 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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