EVESHAM’S MP says his campaign to reform a mediaeval law has been a success.
Peter Luff took up the issue of chancel repair liability after homeowners in Broadway discovered they may become liable to pay for costs to repair St Eadburgha’s Church in the village.
The ancient law, which can be traced back to Henry VIII, was expected to become a more prominent issue after a court case forced parochial church councils to register the liability by October 2013.
Since his Commons debate on October 17, Mr Luff has met representatives of the Church of England and has been reassured the continuation of the legal liability for residents in areas even where the parochial church council decided not to register the liability, until the first sale of the property after October 2013 can be addressed using existing procedures.
After his campaign in the House of Commons Mr Luff said the hangover from the dissolution of the monasteries had been tamed and the law was clearer.
He said: “I am delighted with this outcome. We now have very helpful guidance from the Charity Commission, a constructive approach to funding church repairs from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a way forward for people to reach a legally binding agreement with parochial church councils not to enforce the liability.
“Although the situation in Broadway was very distressing, I am pleased events in the village have played such an important role in helping to resolve the issue once and for all.”
William Fittall, the secretary general at the Church of England, said: “Following [the situatioon in] Broadway the guidance is now available on the Charity Commission’s website, explaining that chancel repair liability need not be enforced in every case.”