Ecclesiastical Law

We have a special interest in Ecclesiastical Law – particularly the law relating to the Church of England.

One of our Directors, Jeremy Wilding, is Hereford Diocesan Registrar (from August 2020). Michelle Wilmot is the Registry Clerk with particular responsibility for faculty applications and processing of clergy licences. They will also be assisted by Melanie Tree and Rachael Hughes, who are to act as Deputy Registrars.

The Diocesan Registry is the legal office for the Diocese of Hereford, which covers all of Herefordshire, the southern half of Shropshire and some parishes in parts of Powys.

The main areas of work which are undertaken in a Diocesan Registry include:

  • Advice
    The giving of Advice to Bishops, Archdeacons, Diocesan Boards, Committees and Churchwardens and Parochial Church Councils and dealing with general enquiries from Members of the Public in relation to marriage, baptism, burial and other matters of Ecclesiastical Law.
  • Appointments
    Preparation of Licences, Permissions, Institutions, Collation documents for all Clergy and some lay appointments within the Diocese.
  • Diocesan Records
    The maintenance of records relating to Churches, Clergy etc.
  • Faculties
    The granting of Faculties to authorise changes or alterations to Churches and Burial Grounds.
  • Marriage Licences
    The issue of Common Marriage Licences under the provisions of the 1949 Marriage Act.
  • Patronage
    Maintenance of a Register of Patrons of parishes within the Diocese.
  • Charity Advice
    Advice on charity law, including the setting up of new charities.

To visit the Hereford Diocesan Registry website please click here:


Our Experts

Jeremy Wilding MBE
Director, Solicitor & Diocesan Registrar

Jeremy Wilding MBE – Director, Solicitor & Diocesan Registrar Jeremy Wilding was educated at Hereford Cathedral School. He then read Law at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was a choral scholar in the college’s famous choir.

Hannah Dudley
Associate Solicitor

Based in the Hereford office, Hannah joined Gabbs in March 2021 as a Commercial Property Solicitor and, prior to relocating to Hereford, worked for firms of various sizes in Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham.

Rachael Hughes
Associate Solicitor & Deputy Diocesan Registrar

Rachael is an Associate Solicitor based at the Leominster office specialising in Agricultural and Residential Property. She has over 22 years of experience advising thousands of clients during her career

Michelle Wilmot
Registry Clerk

As Hereford Diocesan Registry Clerk, Michelle acts as clerk to the Registrar. A background in business with a foreign language, Michelle began her career with a management consultancy firm in London before moving to Hong Kong.