Except for minor matters, before a parish takes any action to a church involving alteration, repair, extension or demolition, or the addition or removal of contents it must seek the permission of the archdeacon or (in more complex cases) the chancellor.
Online faculty system
The new Online Faculty System for making and tracking applications – from the initial advice of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) right through to receiving the sealed Faculty from the Chancellor is now live. With the launch of the new online facility, each PCC will need to register a maximum of two users. These users can be Clergy, Churchwardens, the Church Architect or another person nominated by the PCC. Once users have been approved they will be able to apply to the DAC through the online system and will receive updates as an application progresses. You do not need to be a registered user to download the full guide for parishes for the system.
New legislation came into effect on 1 January 2016 which will allow for the simplification of the faculty process for parishes wishing to make changes to church buildings. Under the new system, the vast majority of proposed changes will be categorised under just two lists known as List A, which covers work that can be done without any prior authorisation, and List B which includes work that archdeacons can authorise without the need of a faculty.
Full faculty will still be required for work which is likely to affect the character of the building or is of structural significance. It will also be required if deemed necessary by the archdeacon because it is controversial or raises pastoral issues in the parish.
If you are planning changes we recommend that you get the advice of the DAC as early as possible! The Committee meets 11 times a year, meeting dates are available to download below.
For more information, including closing dates for agendas, contact Sarah Williams at the Diocesan Registry using the contact details featured on the right hand side of the page or by post at:
14 Market Place, Wells, Somerset BA5 2RE.
Sarah can advise on the procedure for obtaining advice from the DAC and faculty approval. She can help on a range of matters including the appointment of new church architects, the names of conservators and archaeologists or point you in the right direction! Sarah can also advise on what works do not require any permissions (List A Matters) and those that require Archdeacon’s permission (List B Matters).
Community shops in churches and chapels
The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England has published its Guidelines and Best Practice for the Provision of Community Shops in Churches and Chapels on their ChurchCare website.