Court of Faculties

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Under English ecclesiastical law, the Court of Faculties is a tribunal of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is attached to the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The jurisdiction conferred upon the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533 is exercised by the Court of Faculties. This includes the appointment and removal of notaries public, and the granting of those licences and faculties which are the concern of the Archbishop of Canterbury, such as special and ordinary marriage licences. The Lambeth degrees are also conferred by the Court of Faculties. The Master of the Faculties, who is appointed by the Archbishop, subject to the approval of the Crown, is also the Dean of the Arches.

The court:

  1. creates rights as to pews, monuments, and rights of burial;
  2. grants licenses such as marriage licenses, a faculty to erect an organ in a parish church, to level a churchyard, or to exhume bodies buried in a church cemetery. These rights are granted under 25 Hen VII c. 21; and
  3. issues notaries public, after the passage of the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533 (UK), which was a direct result of the Reformation in England. Notaries public in some Commonwealth jurisdictions such as New Zealand and the State of Queensland, Australia are still appointed through the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Court of Faculties.
  4. issues faculties for the creation and conferral of Lambeth degrees.

See also ecclesiastical court.

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