An historic church court dating back to the Norman Conquest had a rare session at the weekend to hear an objection to a new heating system at a Suffolk church.

The Consistory Court of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich met at St Bartholomew's Church in Orford on Saturday to hear the objection brought by architect Nick Bridges to the electrical heating installed at the 14th century.

The objection related to the removal of lighting from the church to make way for the new heating system.

READ MORE: Orford church to hold rare court over heating objections

Justin Gau, chancellor of the diocese, presided over the hearing, which is believed to be only the fourth time the court has sat over the last 20 years.

The church has said an oil-fired boiler used previously to heat the church was out-of-date and not environmentally-friendly and new equipment was needed to heat the church for congregations and for events, including visits by schoolchildren.

The hearing was also due to consider whether the installation of the heating equipment was carried out before permission had been granted by the Church of England's jurisdiction, known as the Faculty.

READ MORE: Orford news

A parishioner connected to the church said the court proceedings went well and the parties involved were 'civil' in their conduct.

A decision on the matter is expected within the next three months.

The court was set up pursuant to a charter by William the Conqueror, the first Norman king of England.

Last week, James Hall, clerk to the court, described to the EADT how rare it was for the institution to hold sessions.

He said: "In the time that I have been here, there have been three hearings like the one we are going to do tomorrow. 

"In each year, well over 100 faculties are granted without any form of hearing or other sort of appearance like we are going to have tomorrow. They are exceptional."

READ MORE: Suffolk news