Section F

Section F

Things appertaining to churches

F 1 Of the font

1. In every church and chapel where baptism is to be administered, there shall be provided a decent font with a cover for the keeping clean thereof.

2. The font shall stand as near to the principal entrance as conveniently may be, except there be a custom to the contrary or the Ordinary otherwise direct; and shall be set in as spacious and well-ordered surroundings as possible.

3. The font bowl shall only be used for the water at the administration of Holy Baptism and for no other purpose whatsoever.

F 2 Of the holy table

1. In every church and chapel a convenient and decent table, of wood, stone, or other suitable material, shall be provided for the celebration of the Holy Communion, and shall stand in the main body of the church or in the chancel where Morning and Evening Prayer are appointed to be said. Any dispute as to the position where the table shall stand shall be determined by the Ordinary.

2. The table, as becomes the table of the Lord, shall be kept in a sufficient and seemly manner, and from time to time repaired, and shall be covered in the time of divine service with a covering of silk or other decent stuff, and with a fair white linen cloth at the time of the celebration of the Holy Communion.

F 3 Of the communion plate

1. In every church and chapel there shall be provided, for the celebration of the Holy Communion, a chalice for the wine and a paten or other vessel for the bread, of gold, silver, or other suitable metal. There shall also be provided a basin for the reception of the alms and other devotions of the people, and a convenient cruet or flagon for bringing the wine to the communion table.

2. It is the duty of the minister of every church or chapel to see that the communion plate is kept washed and clean, and ready for the celebration of the Holy Communion.

F 4 Of the communion linen

In every parochial church and chapel there shall be provided and maintained a sufficient number of fair white linen cloths for the covering of the communion table and of other fair linen cloths for the use of the priest during the celebration of Holy Communion.

F 5 Of surplices for the minister

In every church and chapel surplices shall be provided and maintained in a clean condition for the use of the minister.

F 6 Of the reading desks and pulpit

In every church and chapel there shall be provided convenient desks for the reading of Prayers and God's word, and, unless it be not required, a decent pulpit for the sermon, to be set in a convenient place; which place, in the case of any dispute, shall be determined by the Ordinary.

F 7 Of seats in church

1. In every church and chapel there shall be provided seats for the use of the parishioners and others who attend divine service.

2. In parish churches and chapels it belongs to the churchwardens, acting for this purpose as the officers of the Ordinary and subject to his directions, to allocate the seats amongst the parishioners and others in such manner as the service of God may be best celebrated in the church or chapel; saving the right of the minister to allocate seats in the chancel and the rights of any person to a seat or to allocate seats conferred by faculty, prescription, or statutory authority.

3. Such allocation of seats to non-parishioners shall not interfere with the rights of the parishioners to have seats in the main body of the church.

F 8 Of church bells

1. In every church and chapel there shall be provided at least one bell to ring the people to divine service.

2. No bell in any church or chapel shall be rung contrary to the direction of the minister.

F 9 Of the Bible and The Book of Common Prayer for the use of the minister

In every church and chapel there shall be provided for the use of the minister a Bible, including the Apocrypha, and a Book of Common Prayer, both of large size; a convenient Bible to be kept in the pulpit for the use of the preacher; and a service book, together with a cushion or desk, for use at the communion table.

F 10 Of the alms box

In every parochial church and chapel there shall be provided in a convenient place a box for the alms of the people; which alms are to be applied to such uses as the minister and parochial church council shall think fit; wherein if they disagree, the Ordinary shall determine the disposal thereof.

F 11 Of the register books and their custody

1. In every parish church and chapel where baptism is to be administered or matrimony solemnized there shall be provided register books of baptism, banns, and marriage respectively, and, if a churchyard or burial ground belonging to such church or chapel is used for burials, a register book of burials.

2. Register books shall be provided, maintained, and kept in accordance with the Statutes and Measures relating thereto, and the rules and regulations made thereunder and from time to time in force.

3. In every parish church and chapel there shall also be provided a register book of confirmations.

F 12 Of the register book of services

1. A register book of services shall be provided in all churches and chapels.

2. In the said register book shall be recorded every service of public worship, together with the name of the officiating minister and of the preacher (if he be other than the officiating minister), the number of communicants, and the amount of any alms or other collection and, if desired, notes of significant events.

F 13 Of the care and repair of churches

1. The churches and chapels in every parish shall be decently kept and from time to time, as occasion may require, shall be well and sufficiently repaired and all things therein shall be maintained in such an orderly and decent fashion as best becomes the House of God.

2. The like care shall be taken that the churchyards be duly fenced, and that the said fences be maintained at the charge of those to whom by law or custom the liability belongs, and that the churchyards be kept in such an orderly and decent manner as becomes consecrated ground.

3. It shall be the duty of the minister and churchwardens, if any alterations, additions, removals, or repairs are proposed to be made in the fabric, ornaments, or furniture of the church, to obtain the faculty or licence of the Ordinary before proceeding to execute the same.

4. In the case of every parochial church and chapel, a record of all alterations, additions, removals, or repairs so executed shall be kept in a book to be provided for the purpose and the record shall indicate where specifications and plans may be inspected if not deposited with the book.

F 14 Of the provision of things appertaining to churches

The things appertaining to churches and chapels, and the obligations relating thereto, and to the care and repair of churches, chapels, and churchyards referred to in the foregoing Canons shall, so far as the law may from time to time require, be provided and performed in the case of parochial churches and chapels by and at the charge of the parochial church council.

F 15 Of churches not to be profaned

1. The churchwardens and their assistants shall not suffer the church or chapel to be profaned by any meeting therein for temporal objects inconsistent with the sanctity of the place, nor the bells to be rung at any time contrary to the direction of the minister.

2. They shall not suffer any person so to behave in the church, church porch, or churchyard during the time of divine service as to create disturbance. They shall also take care that nothing be done therein contrary to the law of the Church or of the Realm.

3. If any person be guilty of riotous, violent, or indecent behaviour in any church, chapel, or churchyard, whether in any time of divine service or not, or of disturbing, vexing, troubling, or misusing any minister officiating therein, the said churchwardens or their assistants shall take care to restrain the offender and if necessary proceed against him according to law.

F 16 Of plays, concerts, and exhibitions of films and pictures in churches

1. When any church or chapel is to be used for a play, concert, or exhibition of films or pictures, the minister shall take care that the words, music, and pictures are such as befit the House of God, are consonant with sound doctrine, and make for the edifying of the people.

2. The minister shall obey any general directions relating to such use of a church or chapel issued from time to time by the bishop or other the Ordinary.

3. No play, concert, or exhibition of films or pictures shall be held in any church or chapel except the minister have first consulted the local or other authorities concerned with the precautions against fire and other dangers required by the law to be taken in the case of performances of plays, concerts, or exhibitions of cinematograph films, and the said authorities have signified that the proposed arrangements are a sufficient compliance with the regulations in force as to precautions against fire or other dangers.

4. If any doubt arises as to the manner in which the preceding clauses of this Canon are to be observed, the minister shall refer the matter to the bishop or other the Ordinary, and obey his directions therein.

F 17 Of keeping a record of the property of churches

1. Every bishop within his diocese shall procure so far as he is able that a full note and terrier of all lands, goods, and other possessions of the parochial churches and chapels therein be compiled and kept by the minister and churchwardens in accordance with instructions and forms prescribed from time to time by the General Synod.

2. Every archdeacon shall at least once in three years, either in person or by the rural dean, satisfy himself that the directions of the preceding paragraph of this Canon have been carried out in all the parishes within his jurisdiction.

F18 Of the survey of churches

Every archdeacon shall survey the churches, chancels, and churchyards within his jurisdiction at least once in three years, either in person or by the rural dean, and shall give direction for the amendment of all defects in the fabric, ornaments, and furniture of the same. In particular he shall exercise the powers conferred upon him by the Inspection of Churches Measure 1955.