Chancel Liability


For those readers who are unaware of Chancel Liability, a brief description is as follows -‘deferred responsibility dating back to the times of King Henry V111, passing liability to current landowners of ground previously belonging to the established church’.


According to press reports published over Christmas, “thousands of homeowners face large bills to pay for repairs to churches under ancient laws that give parishes the right to demand the money”. At Checkley, the decision was made not to enforce any possible liability which may have been revealed by an extensive record search. In the period September to

December 2011, over seventy hours of painstaking research indicated that Chancel Liability may exist on previously owned ‘Abbey’ lands spanning an area from Stramshall to Ipstones.


However, the P.C.C. decided unanimously not to register any claim which needed to be made by mid- October, 2013. The reasons were three fold. First, the cost of further record

Investigations would have been high due to the involvement of legal fees. Secondly, and most importantly, it was thought that existing relationships with the village community and outlying areas could be seriously damaged by claim enforcements.

Finally, God’s love, understanding and friendship, in the P.C.C’s view, must be maintained at all costs.


On a personal note, I am convinced that the correct decision has been taken.


Clive Smith.


Many thanks are due to Clive and Derek for all their efforts on our behalf in what has been a very time consuming and difficult task.

Thank you!