Changes to church buildings and churchyards are governed by Faculty Jurisdiction and permission is required from the Chancellor of the Diocese or your Archdeacon for most works of repair, adaptation and improvements to churches.
Faculty Jurisdiction is legal exemption from requiring Listed Building Consent from the local authority but many works will still require Planning Permission.
The Chancellor and Archdeacons are advised by a diocesan body called the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC is a formal group of volunteer specialists who give their time feely to assist parishes in the care of churches. This support is offered both through considering applications for permission but also by aiding churches in developing proposals and in the general management of churches.
In exercising their role, the DAC must have due regard to a church as a local centre of mission and ministry in addition to considering the special character or significance of the church building.
If you would like to request a meeting or a site visit from one of the Church Buildings Team staff (who support the DAC) or a DAC specialist adviser, please make contact via email@example.com or 01905 732809.
How do I apply for permissions?
All applications for permission under the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules are undertaken via the Online Faculty System. You need to be a registered user for your parish to make an application.
You need to determine what level of permission you require for your works. Generally, works that are of repair or that do not affect the character or significance of the church building will not require a full faculty and will feature on either List A (no permission required) or List B (permission required from the Archdeacon) of the rules.
For works that affect the character or significance of the church building (usually only for listed buildings), consultation with external bodies who hold a statutory interest in the building will be required. The Church Buildings Team will guide you through this and undertake consultations through the online portal. Consultees include:
The National Amenity Societies (based around era of interest)
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) – pre 1700
The Georgian Group – 1700-1837
The Victorian Society – 1837-1914
The Twentieth Century Society – Post-1914
The Council for British Archaeology
Historic Buildings and Places (previously the Ancient Monuments Society)
The Local Planning Authority
The Church Buildings Council
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The War Memorials Trust
What other permissions are required?
Often, further secular permissions will be required in addition to a Faculty. Depending on the type of work you may require one or more of the following:
- Building Regulations approval
- Planning Permission
- Scheduled Monument Consent
- Bat (or other wildlife) Licence
- Tree Preservation Orders or Tree works in a Conservation Area
The Church Buildings Team will advise on whether further permission will be required.
DAC Members & Specialisms
Ven. Robert Jones, Archdeacon of Worcester (ex-officio), Interim Chair
Peter Belham, Sound Systems Adviser
Tim Bridges, Historian
Victoria Bryant, Combined Local Authorities; Archaeology Adviser
Jane Chamberlain, Conservation Architect
Ian Cramp, Vice-chair; Lighting & Electrical Adviser
Joanna Daykin, Conservation Architect
John Dentith, Diocesan Synod – House of Laity
Ven. Nikki Groarke, Archdeacon of Dudley (ex-officio)
Jeffrey Howarth, Combined Amenity Societies
Father Adam Hadley, Diocesan Synod – House of Clergy
Victoria Poole, Architect
Matthew Vaughan, Conservation Architect
Advisers to the DAC
Jonathan Ansell, Turret Clocks Adviser
Gordon Birks, Bells Adviser
Andrew Bessant, AV Systems Adviser
Graham Davies, Organs Adviser
Robert Kilgour, Conservation Architect
Susan Logan, Heating Adviser
Vacancy, Textiles Adviser
Richard Peplow, Church Plate Adviser
Chris Povey, Bells Adviser
Mohammad Salami, Structural Engineer Adviser
Mark Carter, Secretary to the Committee; Church Buildings Officer
Hannah Taylor, Assistant Church Buildings Officer
Jim Grevatte, Church Renewals Project Officer
Kay Shuard, Church Buildings Team Administrator
We are advertising for further advisers to the DAC in building services and environmental sustainability. The role description can be viewed here. To register interest or have an informal conversation about a role, please contact the Church Buildings Team firstname.lastname@example.org / 01905 732809.
DAC Meeting dates
DAC meetings take place on:
17 January, 7 March, 25 April, 13 June, 11 July, 12 September, 24 October, 28 November
Dates for meetings in 2024 will be published in due course.
Applications should be submitted at least 3 weeks before the meeting date to usually be able to be considered; applications which require statutory consultation will require at least 6 weeks before being able to be considered. Minor cases can be considered under delegated authority and not need to be presented to the full committee. Please speak to a member of the Church Buildings Team to work out the timescale for your application. Contact the team: email@example.com / 01905 732809.