Church buildings are the most visible and often the most physically impressive expression of the Christian heritage of our country and the faith that they represent.
Parishes throughout the country work hard in trying to maintain their buildings and it is the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches’ job to help parishes in this important task.
Faculties are the Church’s equivalent of planning permission. The Church of England is exempted from parts of the normal permission process with regard to Listed Building Consent because the faculty process takes their place. You may need a faculty for significant repair work, for reordering or for extending a building. Faculties also give formal permission for the purchase or disposal of items: this formal permission is necessary to ensure that any new items are in keeping, and protects any items which are of particular value or significance from being disposed of on a whim.
Faculties and the methods of applying for them and granting them are governed by the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 under the Care of Churches & Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991 and its successor legislation.
Certain works, purchases and disposals do not require a faculty. Guidance on whether any proposed work falls within this list can be sought either from the Archdeacons or from Church House. The list is published as part of the Chancellor’s General Directions.
To apply for a faculty, you need first to ask for the formal advice of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). In practice, you will have discussed the proposed changes within the Parochial Church Council and with the Archdeacon before contacting the DAC. To request the formal advice of the DAC, you need to use the Statutory Form, which is available in the Related Resources box on the right as part of the DAC Pack.. For larger projects the DAC would recommend parishes seek informal advice at an early stage - simply write to the DAC Secretary with as much detail of the proposals as is available. The notes giving detailed guidance on how to apply for a faculty can be found in the DAC Pack, along with notes for the Chancellor’s Directions.
The DAC dates of meetings and their associated site visits, and cut-off dates for the agenda are listed in the DAC Meeting Dates located in the Related Resources box above. If you have any further questions, then do contact the DAC and Mission & Pastoral Secretary