Chancel Liability - A Clarification

Following some inaccurate statements on the Braunston Bugle rather implying that the bad, wicked church is waiting to pounce on and fleece the poor householders of the village, the PCC (Church Council) and I would like to clarify the situation.

Technically the law of chancel liability does still exist in law whereby certain households could potentially be held financially responsible for repairs to church buildings. And yes- if you look hard enough on the internet you will find one or two horror stories of local churches regrettably claiming this right to the detriment of a few local homeowners.

Please note that this church has NEVER (as far as we can tell from records) called in that liability. And it NEVER will. I say NEVER with confidence because almost 4 years ago all parish churches were invited to retain or waive the right to claim chancel liability should the need arise. The churches here in Braunston and Ashby St Ledgers both decided that, in order to protect the communities we are supposed to serve (and yes, the church’s reputation too!) we would waive our rights. We accordingly did not register to retain the right which means that since 2013 Chancel Liability has effectively no longer existed in these parishes.

If your insurer is still trying to get you to insure against chancel liability in Braunston or Ashby you need to put them right and stop paying the premium. If anyone is trying to say that chancel liability affects property prices, ignore them- the reality is that this ancient law has applied for centuries to virtually every village in England and village properties continue to sell at a premium. In these villages, and in many others up and down the land, Chancel Liability has been made a non-issue. We think that was the right thing to do. If you have any questions do give me a ring! Sarah

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