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Last updated 9th August 2017

Chancel repair liability

Chancel repair liability (CRL) is a long-standing and legally enforceable liability to repair – or to contribute to the cost of repair of – the chancel (usually the easternmost part) of a parish church.

Some chancel repair liability is attached to the ownership of particular pieces of land.  That is because the land in question originally formed part of a rectory (an endowment including land to support the priest who serves a parish) or because it otherwise represents property that originally formed part of a rectory.

As this topic is complex legal matter, the Church of England has produced a useful frequently asked questions document. 

The Diocesan Registry produced advice for PCCs in August 2012, that was updated in November 2012. Dr Kathy Whyte, a historical geographer, undertook research at the National Archives at Kew and was able to determine which churches in the Diocese are most likely to benefit from chancel repair liability:

  • Holy Trinity, Bolton le Sands
  • St Bartholomew, Chipping
  • St Michael, Cockerham
  • St Michael and All Angels, Croston
  • St Helen, Garstang
  • St John the Evangelist, Gressingham 
  • St Michael, Kirkham
  • St Mary (the Priory), Lancaster
  • St Andrew, Leyland
  • St Cuthbert, Lytham
  • St Wilfred, Melling
  • St Mary, Penwortham
  • St John, Preston
  • St Wilfred, Ribchester
  • St John the Baptist, Tunstall
  • St Oswald, Warton

The Diocesan Registrar and Dr Whyte gave presentations on the topic in early 2013