Chancel Repair Liability

If you have an ancient parish church, or a church built on an old site, it is possible that a person or body other than the PCC has responsibility for paying for the repairs to the chancel, at least in part.

Historically, the owner of certain land in a parish had the legal responsibility to maintain the chancel of the parish church. The chancel is the part of the church, usually at the East end, where the altar stands in the sanctuary, and the choir pews traditionally are located. The person with responsibility to maintain the chancel is known as the “lay rector”.

The lay rector may be a private person or persons, or an institution, e.g. the Church Commissioners or an Oxbridge College, or a combination of persons and institutions. Not every church has a lay rector but many do. Depending on the particular type and origin of the chancel repair liability, some of the liability already may have been transferred to the PCC by law.

If your church was built after 1840 on land on which a church had not been previously built, then your church will not have a lay rector. In these cases the PCC need not concern itself with chancel repair liability. However, please do exercise caution in considering the age of your church; many churches have been built and rebuilt several times over and it is often not possible to identify a single date when the church was built.

Over the centuries the law has evolved and changed; in some cases the liability may continue to be attached to land and in other instances it is no longer related to the ownership of land.

The law changed in October 2013 with regard to chancel repair liability. The change in the law required that chancel repair liabilities which were attached to land were registered at the Land Registry before October 2013. In some circumstances, it may still be possible to register chancel repair liability. Resources available to assist clergy, churchwardens and PCC’s include these listed below and are all available to download.

If your church may have a lay rector, then parish clergy and churchwardens are encouraged to download and read the resource material listed above.

The change in the law does not affect chancel repair liability which is not attached to land. Such a liability does not need to be registered under the 2002 Act, and it will continue unless and until a Government repeals chancel repair liability.

Why Choose Lupton Fawcett?

Having advised and supported many local families, individuals and businesses, we are proud to offer clients a dedicated service from specialist solicitors who are experts in their field:

We're Award Winning

Multi-award winning - Yorkshire Team of the Year, Regional Employment Team of the Year, Employment Law Lawyer of the Year

We're Connected

We're connected to the people, businesses and infrastructure throughout Yorkshire

We Put You First

You can be sure to expect superb client service from us. Our clients are our priority

We're Your Law Firm

Your problems are real but how we approach them makes all the difference

Accreditations / Awards

Play icon
Lupton Fawcett – putting you ahead - Video Thumbnail

Lupton Fawcett – putting you ahead

Lupton Fawcett lawyer officiates at double consecration 2

Lupton Fawcett lawyer officiates at double consecration

Lupton Fawcett lawyer Louise Connacher officiated at the consecration of two new bishops by the Archbishop of York, the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, at York Minster this week.

Pencil iconBy Lupton Fawcett

New trainee role for Jessica at Lupton Fawcett

New trainee role for Jessica at Lupton Fawcett

A clerk at Yorkshire law firm Lupton Fawcett is embarking on a legal career starting as a trainee solicitor.

Pencil iconBy Lupton Fawcett

Louise Connacher appointed Registrar of the Province of York 1

Lupton Fawcett lawyer takes part in new Archbishop’s confirmation service

Lupton Fawcett lawyer Louise Connacher has spoken of her delight at attending the virtual service confirming Stephen Cottrell as the new Archbishop of York.

Pencil iconBy Lupton Fawcett

Louise Connacher appointed Registrar of the Province of York 1

Louise Connacher appointed Registrar of the Province of York

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has appointed Louise Connacher of Lupton Fawcett as Registrar of the Province of York.

Pencil iconBy Lupton Fawcett

News featured image

The Queen has approved the nomination of the new Archbishop of York

Bishop Stephen Cottrell to be the next Archbishop of York

Pencil iconBy Lupton Fawcett

Acting Provincial Registrar announced 1

Archbishop appoints Registrar for the Diocese of York

The Archbishop of York has appointed Louise Connacher of Lupton Fawcett LLP as Registrar for the Diocese of York and Legal Secretary to the Archbishop, after seven months as Acting Registrar.

Pencil iconBy Lupton Fawcett

Acting Provincial Registrar announced 1

Acting Provincial Registrar announced

Louise Connacher, partner at Lupton Fawcett LLP has been appointed as Acting Diocesan Registrar for the Diocese of York and Acting Provincial Registrar for the Province of York.

Pencil iconBy Lupton Fawcett

Get In Touch Today!

Get In Touch Today!

Please complete this form to make an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Remember you can still call us on 0333 323 5292 or email us at law@luptonfawcett.law

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.