Monday, April 28, 2014

If we were all to check, I suspect that I and most of the other former Episcopalians who frequent this establishment would still be listed on the rolls of our former Episcopal churches.  Which led to a Editorial quip some time back about how many of us would, in some fashion or other, be billed for past, unpaid parochial support.

But don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to invoke Johnson’s First Law of Episcopal Thermodynamics here.  Far from it.  Because it seems that the Church of England is so cash-strapped that some of its parishes actually think that the following is a good idea:

The Church of England has been denounced as “evil” and “unholy” as parishes around the country enforce an archaic law dating to Henry VIII’s reign telling unwitting residents they could face bills exceeding £100,000 for building repairs.

At least 250 Parochial Church Councils, who administer Anglican parishes, have registered Chancel Repair Liability (CRL) against 12,000 properties where ancient deeds permit this. Under the medieval law affected landowners, whether or not they are Anglicans let alone Christians, can be liable for repair of their local Anglican church if built before 1536 even though this was not shown in their deeds when they purchased the property.

The potential bills, and crippling legal fees if they decide to fight, has left families struggling to deal with the anxiety and is tearing parishes apart. The list, seen by The Independent, includes PCCs spread over practically every diocese, with the greatest number of parishes affected in Ely and Lincoln.

Dear Sir or Madam,

It has been determined that your assessment under Chancel Repair Liability comes to £59,375.  When might the Parochial Council expect payment?

Hope to see you at church this Sunday!

Yours sincerely,

Sounds like a winner.  The wheels should be turning at 815 as you read this.

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