In November 2020, the Diocesan Synod adopted legal changes to the process of how a church is inspected every 5 years, a “Quinquennial Inspection”.
These are contained in the revised Diocesan Scheme for Inspection and accompanied by guidance notes prepared by the DAC and the Church Buildings Council.
Essentially, a PCC must appoint a suitably qualified and experienced professional to carry out a report on the building in order to provide an overview to the PCC of the repair needs of the building, the ideal timescale for repairs and ballpark costs for said repairs. That professional no longer needs to be chosen from an ‘approved list’ or architects and surveyors chosen by the DAC but must possess suitable qualifications and experience for the complexity and significance of the building (determined by its listing). The requirements are found in the guidance issued by the Church Buildings Council.
The Church Buildings Team can help identify suitable persons to approach but cannot make a recommendation for you. The proposed appointee must be submitted to the DAC for their advice before the appointment is made using the application form. If a PCC is happy with their current inspector then no changes need to be made.
A PCC is liable for the costs of its inspection and it is wise to budget for the inspection across all five years. We are frequently asked why the Diocese does not pay for inspections: funds would only have to be sourced from Parish Share and that therefore increased if we did. By commissioning and paying for its own inspection, the PCC has greater control and responsibility over the process.
The final report of a Quinquennial Inspection must be submitted to the Archdeacon and the DAC (via the Church Buildings Team) and the Church Buildings Team are happy to help a PCC to interpret the findings of their report and consider plans for enacting the required repairs. Should an inspection report not be submitted within five years of the previous one, the Archdeacon will make contact to ensure that it is undertaken promptly.
For further information contact the Church Buildings Team on 01905 732809 or firstname.lastname@example.org