All about chancel indemnity insurance

A chancel is defined as being part of Christian church architecture, or to be more precise it is the area of space surrounding the altar at the east end of a church.

A particularly sacred area of Christian churches, clergy members are required by church rules to protect the sacrament of transubstantiation by ensuring that the chancel is kept separated by the congregation to protect it from unauthorised or sacreligious access by non clergy members.

The name chancel comes from the Latin word cancelli, which means lattice - historically the form of segregating screen used to keep the chancel separate from the rest of the publically accessible church building.

The responsibility of looking after the segregation chancel is traditionally bestowed upon the church rector, while the parish as a whole is responsible for its day to day maintenance, repairs and upkeep.

The problem with this is that homeowners in parts of the United Kingdom have occasionally found themselves bound by the law of the land to pay huge amounts in order to fund the repair of their local church's chancel. While this may seem very unfair, given the fact that it's an ancient law that arguably has very little place in modern society, the fact is that unless the government seek to change or remove it, it will remain a risk to homeowners.

Fortunately though, it is possible for buyers to take out chancel indemnity insurance on their homes, to cover themselves against any unexpected bills for repair. This can be bought for as little as £15 per year, and most reliable solicitors should be able to point you in the right direction should you have any concerns or would like you take out a policy.

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