Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches
Guide to faculty applications
A faculty is required for all repairs, maintenance and changes to a church or its contents, with two exceptions: experimental re-ordering can be carried out under Archdeacon’s Licence (valid for up to 15 months), and some minor items (on the de minimis list) do not require a faculty.
Generally, applications for a faculty are made by the incumbent and church-wardens on behalf of the PCC. Private petitions are allowed as well, typically for gravestones or monuments.
The decision to grant a faculty is made by the Chancellor of the Diocese, or in some more routine cases by the Archdeacon, acting on the advice of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC). Applications should be made in the first instance through the DAC Secretary, except for grave space reservation and exhumations, which should be referred direct to the Registrar.
The cost of a faculty is met by the Diocese, except for private petitions and those made by a parish retrospectively, i.e. to seek permission for works already carried out.
You should not begin any works or enter into any arrangements for which you are seeking a faculty until you receive the faculty itself from the registrar.
- The DAC exists to advise the Chancellor and applicants for faculties on the proposals put forward. It aims to work with the parishes and others to help them to bring before the Chancellor proposals which both meet their needs and comply with the law. The DAC is made up of experts in a variety of fields related to church practice, buildings and contents, but it is for the Registrar and the Chancellor to interpret the law.
- The DAC Secretary is Miss Jane Logan who is based at the Diocesan Office Tel: 01353 652727, fax: 01353 652745, Contact her for early advice, help in preparing submissions, de minimis matters, and procedures.
- The Diocesan Registrar is Peter Beesley, 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JT. Tel: 020 7222 5381. The Registrar records all the decisions taken and advises on complex issues.
- Every parish must appoint an Inspecting Architect or Surveyor, chosen by the PCC from the approved list and agreed with the DAC, to inspect its building every five years. The List may be obtained from the DAC Secretary, and parishes should seek advice from their Archdeacon before changing their architect or surveyor. This person should be consulted about all but minor matters and will normally be the architect for all major alterations or extensions.
- Planning permission is likely to be required if there is to be a material change to the exterior of the building, and the PCC should contact the conservation officer for their advice. In addition, for alterations to a listed building which may affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest, for works involving demolition affecting the exterior of an unlisted building in a conservation area or for works likely to affect the archaeological importance of the church or archaeological remains within the church or its curtilage, there must be consultation with English Heritage, the relevant national amenity society and the local planning authority at the same time as consultations with the DAC. You must notify the DAC that you have done so, state when the 28 days statutory period of consultation ends and provide copies of any responses received. Some works may require consultation with the Council for the Care of Churches; this may be done by the DAC Secretary rather than by the parish.
- The DAC will make a site visit to look at all major proposals with representatives of the parish and the architect. All major proposals will require the parish to provide:
- a Statement of Needs – setting out the reasons for the changes
- a Statement of Significance – which summarises the historical development of the church and identifies its important features.
At the end of the process the DAC will recommend, make no objection to, or not recommend a faculty for all or part of the proposals. If the DAC considers that proposals will have an adverse affect on the fabric or appearance of the church it will inform the parish and ask them to reconsider or provide additional information. In some cases the DAC will not recommend a faculty, and its decision will be explained.
- A statement giving the complete details of the proposed works
- Plans, specifications, quotations, photographs and drawings
- Samples and colour of new items, including carpets and textiles
- Details of contractors
- If the proposed works are likely to affect the organ, an electrical installation, or the security of the building against fire, vandalism, theft or other risks, a letter from the Insurance office concerned stating that the work has their consent
- For faculty works to trees you must submit a special faculty form, obtainable from the DAC Secretary
- For significant changes to a listed church, the PCC must provide a Statement of Needs and a Statement of Significance
If you are in any doubt please consult the DAC Secretary or your Archdeacon.
|The Ven J Beer
Archdeacon of Ely
|The Ven H McCurdy
Archdeacon of Huntingdon and Wisbech
12 Boadicea Court
If you need to have planning permission, you should contact your local council.
You may also get advise from:
24 Brooklands Avenue
|Mrs Paula Griffiths
The Council for the Care of Churches
Fifth Floor Church House
Great Smith Street
020 7898 1882
National amenity societies
|The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings 37 Spital Square
0207 377 1644
|The Georgian Group
6 Fitzroy Square
0207 377 1644
|The Victorian Society Society
1 Priory Gardens
0208 994 1019
|The Twentieth Century
77 Cowcross Street
0207 250 3857
|The Ancient Monuments Society
St Anne’s Vestry Hall
2 Church Entry
0207 329 3677
|The Council for British Archaeology
Bowes Morrell House
01904 671 384
Summary of procedure
|Major changes: alterations, extensions
• Consult your architect
• Consult within PCC and parish
• Ask for DAC site visit
• Consult planning & amenity societies
• Consult with English Heritage
• Prepare outline proposals
|Minor changes: repairs, maintenance
• Consult DAC Secretary informally
• Consult architect
• Prepare detailed proposals
|Consult DAC on proposals
• Submit outline proposals to DAC
• Prepare detailed proposals in consultation with architect, PCC, DAC, planning and amenity societies
|Put detailed proposals to DAC
• Discuss with DAC; revise as advised
• Continue discussion with PCC and parish, if appropriate
• Obtain planning consent (if needed) in parallel
• Obtain recommendation and petition papers from DAC
|Petition the Chancellor
• Aim to get proposals ‘right first time’
• Submit petition to Registrar with DAC recommendation
• Display public notices for 28 days (minimum)
• Chancellor decides major matters, Archdeacon minor ones
• Permission granted (or not) with or without conditions
• Only when faculty received from Registrar
• Works should be completed within time limit or extension sought