The majority of church buildings, their contents and grounds are protected by Faculty Jurisdiction. Under this legislation, any repair, alteration, extension, disposal or addition needs to receive approval. This is granted by the Chancellor of the diocese or in some cases by the appropriate archdeacon (via List B authorisation).
The downloads below offer advice and practical information on the process of obtaining a faculty.
If you have any queries about your particular application, please contact Sarah Williams, Registry Manager and Assistant Secretary to the DAC.
All Faculty and List B applications should be submitted via the Church of England’s Online Faculty System after reading the four guidance notes below. Please also see this link for Frequently Asked Questions about the online system.
- How do I apply for a faculty?
- What information do I need to supply?
- Who else might I need to consult?
- Online Faculty System – tips
For parishes who have obtained a faculty, and there is a requirement to photograph the interior before works commence, please see Diocese of Exeter’s useful Photographic Recording guidance.
Works that do not require a Faculty – Lists A & B
List A and B matters may be undertaken without a faculty. List A works can be carried out without any consultation, and List B works will need to be authorised by the archdeacon, in consultation with the DAC. All List B works should be applied for using the Online Faculty System. A document detailing List A and B permissions can be downloaded below.
Church Buildings Legislation
The following legislation currently applies to church buildings:
- The Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019
- Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018
- Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015
- Inspection of Churches Measure 1955
- Operation of the Ecclesiastical Exemption 2010
The Church of England benefits from the Ecclesiastical Exemption and the majority of our church buildings are not subject to Listed Building Consent from the Local Planning Authority. However, it is important to remember that although Listed Building Consent may not be required, Planning Permission may be needed if changes are to be made to the exterior of the building or churchyard. There is no exemption from this, or from the need for Building Regulations for certain types of works. Contact your Local Authority for further information.
There are a very small number of listed churches which are not subject to Faculty Jurisdiction, and therefore need to apply for Listed Building Consent via their Local Planning Authority for works to their buildings. Please contact Sarah Williams if you wish to know if your church falls into this category.
Additional Matters Orders (AMOs)
Vaccination Centres - December 2021
Diocesan Chancellor, Timothy Biden, has issued an Additional Matters Order, applicable to the whole diocese, in respect of the use of ecclesiastical premises, with the permission of the minister (or Area Dean during a vacancy) and church wardens for the purpose of vaccination centres during Covid-19 with some conditions.
Installation of cameras - August 2021
Diocesan Chancellor, Timothy Biden, has issued an Additional Matters Order, applicable to the whole diocese in respect of the installation of cameras to record/stream worship.
The Additional Matters Orders can be downloaded below.
Who to contact
Email Sarah Williams, Registry Manager and Assistant Secretary to the DAC.