Registry & Consistory Court

What is the Registry and what does it do?

Please note: the Registry is working remotely and as such, we would please ask that you e-mail Rowan Jones or Pauline Hollington. If your query is urgent, you may still telephone Andrew Wynne.

The Joint Registrars and Bishop's Legal Secretaries are Niall Blackie and Andrew Wynne. The Registry Assistants are Pauline Hollington and Rowan Jones. Together they are responsible for providing advice to the Bishop and senior clergy and to the Diocese and its Synod and Board of Finance; they also advise parishes, their clergy and lay officers.

Contact details for the Registrar are below but initial enquiries are best made to the Registry Assistants Pauline Hollington direct at pauline.hollington@fbcmb.co.uk or to Rowan Jones at rowan.jones@fbcmb.co.uk.

The main work of the Registry, apart from specific advice on particular legal questions, are:

  • the licensing of clergy who operate in the Diocese;
  • the consecration or licensing of buildings used for public worship;
  • the management of the system of Patronage dealing with the presentation of appropriate candidates to the Bishop for appointment as Rectors or Vicars;
  • the management of the legal aspects of vacancies in Benefices (that is, when incumbents leave) or the suspension of the right to present a candidate to fill a vacancy;
  • advice on church law relating to baptism, marriage and burial, including the grant of common marriage licences to those who are unable to marry under Banns, for whatever reason. Initial contact on such matters, unless in an emergency, should be made via the Surrogates (details of local Surrogates are in the 'Guidance on Marriage and Baptism' section);
  • advice about the regulations concerning Pastoral Schemes altering benefices, parishes or the status of consecrated land.

The Consistory Court deals mainly with the 'Faculty Jurisdiction' relating to consecrated land and buildings within the Diocese of Lichfield - this includes most Church of England churches and churchyards, a number of unconsecrated chapels and the consecrated parts of Local Authority cemeteries. The Chancellor of the Diocese of Lichfield is His Honour Judge Stephen Eyre QC. The Deputy Chancellor is Dr Anthony Verduyn; they sit as the Judges of the Consistory Court. The Registry enables the work of both Consistory Court and Registrar. Information about the Faculty Jurisdiction is contained under the headings of Churches and Churchyards and Judgments of the Consistory Court, in the pages to the right.

These pages and guidance notes are tailored toward particular areas that are dealt with by the Registry that may be of use for different types of enquiry.

We have divided the notes into several sections, for ease of reference. Some of the guidance is quite technical but we hope that it will nonetheless be useful. The Registry can assist if it is unclear, but we hope that clergy and parishioners alike will read the Guidance Notes on any topic before seeking our legal advice, so as to make best use of the work we do for the Diocese. All immediate or urgent enquiries not covered by the documents, can be directed to the Registrars Office directly.

 

Mr Niall Blackie

Diocesan Registrar

Niall has been involved in Ecclesiastical law since 1988 and part of the Registry team since. He became Registrar in 2002 and has been a significant part of the Ecclesiastical Law Association, of which he is a member of the Executive Committee.

When not advising the Bishop or Diocese, he helps clients through his specialist knowledge of town and country planning.

Website

 

Mr Andrew Wynne

Office: 01902 578066

Diocesan Registrar 

Andrew joined the Registry team in 2012 as Deputy Registrar becoming Joint Registrar in 2018.

He also has over 20 years' experience in commercial property law.

Website

Mrs Pauline Hollington

 

Diocesan Registry Assistant

Pauline joined the Registry in 2020. She has a background in Human Resources and the charity sector.

Rowan and Pauline are the central points of contact for the Registry's work with others in the diocese and works closely with the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

Website

Miss Rowan Jones

Diocesan Registry Assistant

Rowan joined the firm in 2017 as an Apprentice Solicitor and joined the Registry in 2020.

Rowan and Pauline are the central points of contact for the Registry's work with others in the diocese and works closely with the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

Website

The Registry is based at

FBC Manby Bowdler Solicitors

6-10 George Street
Snow Hill
Wolverhampton WV2 4DN

to which any correspondence should be sent.


Page last updated: 6th May 2020 8:48 AM