Chancel Repair Searches


Parochial Church, Council of Aston, Cantelow and Others-Vs-Wallbank


The Wallbanks' lost their battle to avoid paying almost £100,000 towards
the repair of their local Parish Church.


The liability arose when Mrs Wallbank's father left them a farm, part of
which had previously been church land. This made the Wallbanks lay

impropriators and as such liable to pay towards the repair of the
chancel to the Parish Church.


The House of Lords overturned the Court of Appeal and ruled that
the Human Rights Act did not apply to the Wallbanks case and that
they were liable to pay the monies due, which with legal costs is
estimated at double the total liability.


A transitional provisions order covering Chancel Repair liability has
been made and took effect when the Land Registration Act 2002
came into force in October 2003.


This ruling could serve to encourage other Church Councils to pursue
Chancel Repair obligations more vigorously in the future. Chancel Repair
liability can only affect land within a Church of England Parish which has
a Vicar (not a Rector) and a medieval or pre-medieval church.


FastSearch can help assess potential risks by conducting a search to
ascertain whether your or your client's property could be subject to
Chancel repair liability.