A Guide to faculty applications

PCC’s are encouraged to make their request for consent through the online faculty system. For guidance go to ‘Apply for DAC advice online’ (hyperlink) 

Here is a checklist to help you in submitting detailed proposals to the DAC. This is a process that must be followed for both Faculty and List B consent: 

  • A statement giving the complete details of the proposed works 
  • Plans, specifications, quotations, photographs and drawings (with wiring diagrams and pipe routes) showing the current and proposed locations for all proposals involving re-ordering, extensions, lighting, sound systems, heating systems, plaques, Gardens of Remembrance, building works, etc. (two copies to be submitted) 
  • 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 significant changes to a listed church, the PCC must provide a Statement of Needs (why the works are necessary for the worship and mission of the church) and a Statement of Significance (why the church building is historically important and what the effects of the proposals would be). A template is available at www.churchcare.co.uk or from the DAC Secretary. 

Faculties for exhumation or the reservation of grave spaces (which are normally private, rather than PCC petitions), are dealt with directly by the Registrar. Application should be made on forms available from the Registry

What type of consent do you need? 

List A (formerly known as "minor works")

This provides a single list for all Dioceses, for works which may be undertaken without a faculty, subject to any condition specified. Please check with the DAC Secretary or Archdeacon before any work is undertaken. Click the link above for a Full list of 'A' and 'B' works. It is a relatively short list, intended to cover the simplest of routine maintenance and repair tasks. Works to trees are deliberately restricted in scope because significant work to trees raises issues of compliance with planning legislation and is often controversial 

List B

This category requires the written consent of archdeacons before works can be undertaken. Consent will be in the form of an Archdeacon's Written Notice (Rule 3.3). Click the link above for a Full list of 'A' and 'B' works. Archdeacons must seek the advice of the DAC before deciding to give notice; information about the proposed works will need to be appropriately detailed (see point 7 below). Archdeacons may grant consent subject to Conditions if so advised by the DAC. A copy of the Written Notice will be sent to the DAC secretary and the Diocesan Registrar. If an archdeacon considers that works do not fall within List A or B he/she must inform the applicants that they may, if they wish, petition the Chancellor for a full faculty to authorise the proposal (see below). 

Faculty  

A faculty is required for all matters not covered by either List A or B.  

In general, this will include works of repair, maintenance and changes (e.g. WCs and kitchens) to a church or its contents where they are likely to affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. Generally, applications for a faculty are made by the incumbent and church-wardens on behalf of the PCC. Private petitions can be made as well, typically for gravestones, monuments or reservations of grave spaces.

The decision to grant a faculty is made by the Chancellor of the Diocese, acting on the advice of the DAC. Applications should be made in the first instance through the DAC Secretary, (except for grave space reservation and exhumations - see 8 below) There are no fees for a standard faculty; fees will be charged for retrospective and/or private petitions. 

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 effect 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. 

Other consents  
Experimental re-ordering can be carried out under Archdeacon's Licence (valid for up to 15 months) - consent is given by Form 13. No material alteration of fabric or contents is permissible, nor the disposal of fixtures or articles. If a faculty to make the changes permanent is not applied for the position must be restored to that which existed before the scheme was implemented. 

In cases of genuine urgency (e.g. storm damage), it is possible for the Chancellor to give temporary permission (an Interim Faculty) at short notice. Contact should be made with the DAC Secretary or the Registrar in the first instance. 

Removal of an article to a place of safety can be authorised by an archdeacon - a faculty confirming the removal must be petitioned for within 28 days. 

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, or the Written Notice from the archdeacon.