Chancel Repair Liability - does it apply to your church?

You will need to discover what applies and how this applies in your church’s case.

Some parishes have a lay rector who has a legal obligation to meet the costs of chancel repairs. This liability is usually based on the ownership of land. The difficulty is that over the years the land that liability is based on could have been sold into several different ownerships. So today a number of people could have the CRL attached to the deeds of their land.

You will need to discover what applies and how this applies in your church’s case.

To do this follow these steps:

1. Ask any long standing church members if they know if any repairs have been carried out and who paid. Check historic PCC minutes.
2. Talk to your Patrons
3. Check any records you have in the vestry, church chest and vicarage and in particular the church terrier (Church Property Register)
4. Check your local record office addresses.
5. Contact the National Archives Ruskin Avenue, Kew Surrey, TW9 4DU 0208 876 3444 They produce a leaflet Chancel Repairs Research Guide (Legal Records Information Leaflet 33)

You can also consider:

• enquiring at the Victoria County History 
• contacting the Church Commissioners in London
• commissioning a researcher to look into this – National Archives produce a list of general researchers but you will need to be aware this is a specialist area.

You must prove you have carried out appropriate research and have a PCC minute.

If Chancel Repair Liaibility applies to your church then Brenda will explain the next steps. If it doesn’t you simply need to prove the action you have taken.

Don’t panic but do take action.

Check our website  for any further information.

Still stuck?

Then Brenda Edwards can advise you.
Ring her on
0151 705 2122 or