Consistory Court hearing
The hearing of the petition for a faculty for the relocation of the memorial commemorating Tobias Rustat from the Chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge will take place from Wednesday 2 February 2022. The hearing is to be held in the College Chapel.
The Diocese of Ely has published a webpage covering some of the broader questions around the workings of a Diocesan Advisory Committee and how matters may then be heard in a Consistory Court.
What is a petition for a faculty?
A petition for a faculty is an application for permission to make an alteration or change of use to church property, such as a church or its churchyard.
Jesus College has submitted an application to the Diocese of Ely to relocate Tobias Rustat’s memorial from our Chapel to a permanent educational exhibition space in College. You can download the short introduction to our application or the full submission including the introduction.
A petition is considered by the Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor sitting in a consistory court. The Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor decides whether a hearing is required. Should a hearing be deemed necessary, it usually takes place in the church building to which the petition relates.
What is a consistory court?
A consistory court is an ecclesiastical court dealing with matters of law relating to the Church – mainly in relation to its buildings. In the Church of England each diocese has its own consistory court and the court hearing this case is the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Ely.
Who is the Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor?
His Honour Judge David Hodge QC has been appointed as Deputy Chancellor to consider the College’s petition.
How do the proceedings work?
A consistory court operates in a similar way to other civil courts in England. Witness statements and evidence will be taken as read, but there will be cross-examination of witnesses.
How can I attend?
The Court has allocated a limited number of seats in the Chapel. Under the direction of the Deputy Chancellor, there will be a livestream of the proceedings to a number of viewing rooms in Jesus College. Please register to attend on the appropriate link below so that we can keep you up-to-date with important information about attending. Entry will not be permitted without registration and photo ID.
Alumni and members of the public should register for a place to view proceedings.
Journalists and photographers should register for a place to gain access to the media centre.
The hearing of the petition is predicted to start at 10am on Wednesday 2 February, with an hour for lunch at 1pm and rising at 4.30pm – continuing on Thursday 3 and Friday 4 February, finishing in the Chapel at 4pm on Friday 4 February. Should further time be required, the hearing will continue online for a further day on Saturday 5 February.
Unless you are medically exempt, please wear a face covering when you are inside any buildings and follow all local signage covering COVID measures such as one-way systems.
We ask that you do not attend if you have any of the main COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone with symptoms. Please take a lateral flow test before travelling to Jesus College and follow all current NHS guidelines on limiting the spread of COVID-19.
How is the verdict/ decision given?
The Chancellor may notify the parties of his decision in writing after the case has concluded.
Is there a right to appeal?
Permission to appeal is required, but in most cases would be to the Court of Arches as the building falls within the Province of Canterbury.
Recordings, photography or filming
As with any other court, filming, recording, live streaming and photographing of the proceedings is strictly forbidden and would be treated as contempt of court. Please note that this prohibition extends to the viewing rooms and to remote court hearings.