Church buildings

Churches and church halls are managed by the local PCC. Before making any alterations or repairs to the church, parishes need to contact the DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee). The DAC can also offer advice on any buildings related issues and has issued many advice documents which can be downloaded below.

Making an application

Faculty Online is a online portal that manages the permissions process for works to Church of England buildings. Faculty Online can be accessed by clicking here. To use Faculty Online, the PCC’s representative needs to register as an applicant – please find a guidance note on how to register below. Once registration is completed the applicant will be able to access old Quinquennial Inspection reports, old permissions, basic information and submit applications.

Useful information before submitting an application:
Permissions flow chart to help the PCC to establish what level of permission is required to carry out the work
Faculty process flow chart giving step-by-step details of the submitted faculty application.

Useful guidance notes when applying via Faculty Online:
– How to register 2020
– Starting List A or List B item 2020
– Applying for TMRO 2020
– Starting a faculty application 2020

The Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 (as amended) provides in Schedule 1 certain matters which may be undertaken without a Faculty.
1.       List A* contains works that may be undertaken without a faculty subject to any specified conditions.
2.       List B* contains works that may, subject to any specified conditions, be undertaken without a faculty if the archdeacon has been consulted and has given notice in writing that the matter may be undertaken without a faculty.
3.       Under section 78 of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018 and Rule 3.4 of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 (as amended), the Chancellor of each diocese, after seeking the advice of the Diocesan Advisory Committee and the archdeacon of every archdeaconry in which a parish may be affected by the order, may make an Additional Matters Order** in respect of temporary changes to the layout of the church building or the installation of equipment. These Additional Matters Orders may be undertaken without a faculty, and generally need approval by the archdeacon, much in the same way as the List B applications are determined. 

*Matters not requiring faculty from July 2022 - Lists A & B

**Additional Matter Orders – Diocese of Bristol

Applications for List B and AMO matters must be submitted via Faculty Online.

In addition, the Diocesan Chancellor can grant general faculties, which are faculties that apply to all churches within the diocese. To date, the Diocesan Chancellor has granted two, please see this list for details. As the general faculty has already been granted the process of gaining the permission for the any of the listed items has been simplified. If you require further information the general faculties please contact the secretary to the DAC.

Public notices during Covid-19

All churches are closed by order of the Archbishops dated 23 March 2020 and to comply with the requirements of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

It is therefore not possible or practical for public notices to be displayed within church buildings.

Therefore, pursuant to Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 rule 6.7(1)(b), until further notice the Diocesan Chancellor, The Revd Justin Gau, has dispensed with the requirement of displaying a public notice within the church in relation to any faculty application submitted after 23 March 2020.

However, so that interested parties are still made aware of any proposed faculty applications the Chancellor has issued the following directions:

1.The public notice must be displayed outside the church and in accordance with the social distancing rules issued by HM Government.

2.The public notice must be displayed on any church or parish Facebook group, church or parish Instagram account, church or parish Twitter account, church or parish WhatsApp group or any other social media (electronic or otherwise) used by the church.

3.At the end of the public notice period the petitioners are to confirm in writing that they are not aware of any potential objections which have been or might have been triggered by the giving of the public notice.

A full copy of the Chancellor’s directions can be found here.

Articles worth reading

'Changing Churches' by John Truscott, first published in Maintenance & Equipment News for Churches and Schools Spring 2019 issue celebrating its 60th anniversary year of publishing.

'Building project preparations by John Truscott, first published in Maintenance & Equipment News for Churches and Schools.These notes are designed to start you off on a building project by asking the right questions before you appoint an architect. 

ChurchCare offers guidance and advice on the day-to-day maintenance of your church and on how to go about making changes to your building, please go to advice and guidance for church buildings website to find out more.

Guidance from the DAC

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