CHANCEL-Repair liability (CRL) is an issue "on the verge of
explosion", a junior government minister, Peter Luff, has said. Mr
Luff, the MP for Mid Worcestershire, is helping the PCC of Broadway
with Wickhamford to find a way to avoid registering CRL against 30
households in its parish (
News, 3 August).
"My strong sense is that this issue is on the verge of
explosion," he said. He warned that, with hundreds of parishes
about to inform householders about potential CRL registration, "an
issue that the Church thinks is manageable is about to become
rather more difficult for them."
He said that parishes could apply to the Charity Commission for
dispensation from registering CRL against householders, because
"the upset caused would run contrary to the objectives of the
charity." CRL would then cease once the property was next sold, but
would continue to apply to existing home-owners.
Mr Luff, who is acting in his capacity as a constituency MP
rather than as a government minister, wants the law changed so that
where the Charity Commission has given such advice, existing
home-owners would also be exempt from the liability. But, he said,
the Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly believed that the issue was
"inconsequential and unimportant", and affected mostly
"If he is right, and this affects only ten or 20 parishes, that
makes life a lot more difficult; but if it is going to be 50 or 100
parishes, or more, then there is a much stronger case for taking
He wants parishes that have to consider registering CRL against
householders to contact him, and their own MP, so that they can
build a case for a change in the law; and also to "provide help,
guidance and support to one another".
Mr Luff can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.