Tag Archives: Henry VIII

Eddie Izzard on Religion

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May 30, 2014 · 19:20

Homeowners face huge bills for repair to churches under ancient laws – regardless of their religion

Letters sent to 12,000 homeowners informing them they are liable for upkeep
Could see them helping with average bill of £80,000 if urgent work required
Experts have warned that the legal responsibility could slash home values

By JAMES TOZER – DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 01:07, 30 December 2013
Thousands of homeowners face the threat of crippling bills to repair local churches under an ancient law which applies regardless of their religion, it has emerged.
Letters have been sent to more than 12,000 people informing them that they are liable to contribute towards the upkeep of a nearby Anglican church under rules which date back to the reign of Henry VIII but are rarely enforced today.
The bombshell warning – which could see them helping to foot an average bill of £80,000 if urgent work is required – is the result of Government attempts to tidy up the law on what is known as ‘chancel repair liabilities’.
Thousands of homeowners face the threat of crippling bills to repair local churches under an ancient law which applies regardless of their religion, it has emerged

Even if repairs are not needed, experts have warned that the legal responsibility could slash home values and potentially cause house sales to fall through.
Currently, many property owners are unaware that they are responsible for contributing towards the upkeep of the chancel – the area around the altar – of their parish church because they are classed as ‘lay rectors’.
While home owners who are aware their property is liable can take out special insurance to cover an unexpected bill, most are oblivious as it is not mentioned in their deeds.
The rule – which dates back to the dissolution of the monasteries almost 500 years ago – was highlighted by the case of Andrew and Gail Wallbank who inherited a farm in Warwickshire.

 

They were ordered to pay over £100,000 towards repairs to Aston Cantlow church, and following a lengthy legal battle which ended in 2008 were left with no choice but to sell the property.
After parochial church councils (PCCs) were told their members risked being made legally responsible if they didn’t identify who was liable, churches were given ten years to inform everyone who could potentially be ordered to cough up.
Now, following a Freedom of Information application, it has emerged that 247 churches have so far registered 12,276 homes or plots of land as being liable.
Letters informing the owners have been sent out by the Land Registry, which manages the list, the Sunday Times reported yesterday.
However as many as 5,000 parish churches have yet to register their rights, meaning the final total could be significantly higher.
Letters have been sent to more than 12,000 people informing them that they are liable to contribute towards the upkeep of a nearby Anglican church under rules which date back to the reign of Henry VIII but are rarely enforced today
Letters have been sent to more than 12,000 people informing them that they are liable to contribute towards the upkeep of a nearby Anglican church under rules which date back to the reign of Henry VIII but are rarely enforced today
In some cases, the paper reported, large numbers of properties have been registered – St Cuthbert’s Church in Lytham, Lancashire, has registered 5,725 addresses, while St Andrew’s Church in Gorleston-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, has registered 854.
While the right could only be exercised if the chancel was in urgent need of repairs, recipients of the letters have suffered shock and upheaval.
Website designer Tim Acheson, a Catholic, said the liability towards repairs to grade I listed St Mary the Virgin in his home village of Braughing, Hertfordshire, hadn’t come up during conveyancing when he bought the property in 2009.
‘It means that the value of your home can be written off at any time and it is handing the church the power to make people bankrupt overnight,’ he told the paper.
Writer Miranda Seymour, whose biographies include a book on Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, was told her home, Thrumpton Hall in Nottinghamshire, had been registered by nearby All Saints Church.

‘I am vehemently opposing it,’ she said.

Experts warned that the cost of obtaining chancel liability insurance was likely to rise for those included on the list and that some property owners had paid their local PCC up to £500,000 to buy out their liability.
A spokesman for the Church of England said the Land Registry had advised that PCCs had a duty to consider who was responsible for the upkeep of their chancel.
‘A parochial church council can decide not to enforce chancel repair liability,’ he said.
‘It can take into account the possibility of excessive hardship that might be caused to those liable if the obligation were enforced or the damage that enforcing it could do to the mission of the church in the parish.
‘But the decision is one for the individual PCC.’

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Stand Up and be Counted

How sad that today it so often appears that people will not stand up and be counted. Even the Church so often seems to prefer compromise to principle.  Yet it has not always been so.

Little has been said about the role of the churches in the fall of the Iron Curtain. From September to November of 1989 East Germany experienced what became known as the October revolution in which the 40-year-old communist government fell with remarkably little violence. The church played an important role in encouraging the peaceful demonstrations that followed evening prayer services. On October 9 of that year it appeared as if things night get very brutal especially since Erich Honecker ordered a fierce and violent crackdown on the demonstrations.

The Lutheran Bishop warned of a blood bath and doctors cleared hospital wards in order to treat the casualties. The church decided not to cancel the prayer services however and appealed for calm. After the service the demonstrators numbered over 150,000. In a courageous act of defiance and insubordination, Egon Krenz, the politbureau member in charge of security, refused to carry our Honecker’s orders and the demonstration remained peaceful. That night became a turning point in the revolution. Some weeks later demonstrators hung a banner across a Leipzig street: saying Wir Danken Dir Kirche which means Thank You Church.

Sometimes we fail to realize just how important these acts of courage and political and religious defiance can be in the history of the world.

Remember many of these folks who stood up for their beliefs against enormous odds. Thomas More, the 16th century Oxford educated statesman, opposed two of the Kings of his day. He stood up to Henry VII and suffered for his opposition. He then became a favourite of Henry VIII who knighted him and who also often sought his companionship in philosophical conversations. The friendship was not to last!, for when Henry VIII became disenchanted with his wife, Catherine of Aragon he planned to divorce her in clear defiance of the Pope. More decided that his first loyalty was to the church and he was eventually executed by Henry VIII. 400 years later More was canonized by the Catholic Church.

Oliver Tyndale; who translated the Bible from Latin to English. was executed by the Kingdom for doing so.

Martin Luther; confronted the powers of the world with what he perceived was the fundamental truths of Christianity and when attacked was forced to leave the church he loved to start the Protestant Movement.

John Wesley; was condemned for preaching salvation by Grace and almost killed several times, and continually ridiculed for his faith.

Of course there are others: Joan of Arc, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela  all people who stood up to those in power and proclaimed the truth – no matter what the cost.

What is more important: the favour of the world or the integrity of following the way we feel to be the way of God?

The Bible asks us to make a choice: We can be “successful” or we can be like the disciples – and Jesus, —–“significant”, trying to make a difference in spite of the power of this world.

Which is more important? If we are honest with ourselves and with our faith we know the answer.

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Don’t lose your head

Don't lose your head

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February 9, 2013 · 18:25

Marriage 2

Henry VIII

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February 6, 2013 · 22:52

I’m ‘enery the Eighth I am

I'm 'Enery the Eighth I am

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December 17, 2012 · 17:35