New Chancellor Announced

by Gerry Lynch last modified 26 Feb, 2016 10:27 AM

Ruth Arlow to take up post on Sam Wiggs' retirement later this month

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, has announced that Ruth Arlow will be appointed as the new Chancellor for the Diocese on the retirement of His Honour Judge Sam Wiggs at the end of this week.

Bishop Nicholas said, “Since May 1997 His Honour Judge Sam Wiggs has been Chancellor of the Diocese of Salisbury. Sam has served the diocese with distinction and last year indicated that he would like to retire in the near future.

“After a careful search I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ruth Arlow as our new Chancellor. Her legal practice, based at Pump Court Chambers, has been in the area of family law as well as the considerable specialism in ecclesiastical law and religious liberty she has developed

“She knows this part of the country well as she lives in Somerset. Since 2012 she has been Chancellor in the Diocese of Norwich, a post in which she will continue whilst also being our Chancellor.

“I shall be licensing Ruth as Chancellor on Monday 22 February. Sam Wiggs will cease to be our Chancellor with effect from Friday 19th February. I am sure that Synod will want to join me in thanking Sam warmly for his exceptional service and wish him well in his retirement, not least with the project to re-order Tisbury parish church. We will be looking for an occasion to welcome Ruth to the Diocese.”

Each diocese of the Church of England has a court of the Bishop called the consistory court. The Chancellor of a Diocese is the Judge of that court, and is under a duty to hear and determine disputed cases impartially according to the rule of law.

In addition, the Chancellor grants marriage licenses, and carries out much work on ‘Faculty Jurisdiction’, enabling often historic buildings to be transformed as suitable for Church of England worship in the 21st century.

The volume of work can be considerable. In 2014 the Chancellor dealt with over 200 faculty petitions, 140 applications for extended minor works permission, and almost 100 requests for out of court advice.

Those who wish to contribute to a gift to thank Sam for his considerable service to the Diocese can make a cheque payable to 'Salisbury DBF' and marked 'Sam Wiggs gift' on the reverse, and send it to: Phil Musselwhite, Church House, Crane Street, Salisbury, SP1 2QB.

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