Emergency works procedure
- Emergency works (interim faculty) procedure for church buildings and churchyards
Church buildings and DVE
A person carrying out functions of care and conservation... relating to churches must have due regard to the role of a church as a local centre of worship and mission.
Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018
Church buildings are a physical expression of the Christian faith, designed and constructed as places of worship and community. These principles are reflected in the diocesan vision of discipleship, vocation and evangelism (DVE), where church buildings represent:
- sacred spaces in which people can gather and grow (D)
- beacons of welcome and service within communities (V)
- focal points for public preaching and personal witness (E)
Church buildings are also a tangible link with the past, and are recognised as having special historic, cultural and artistic significance. There are more than 540 churches in the Diocese of Lichfield. As custodians of these buildings, parishes have to carefully balance the needs of the church as both a building and a community.
Related to which, a strategic review and toolkit for church buildings has been designed to support parishes in the Diocese of Lichfield (from summer 2021).
It shall be the duty of the minister and churchwardens, if any alterations, additions, removals, or repairs are proposed to be made in the fabric, ornaments, or furniture of the church, to obtain the faculty or licence... before proceeding to execute the same.
Canons of the Church of England
When parishes wish to make changes to their church buildings, contents or churchyards, they are required to obtain the necessary permissions for works. Parishes can request permission through an online application via the Church of England's Online Faculty System (OFS), a web-based application portal.
Where applications are submitted for faculty permission, they will be considered by the Lichfield Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) at one of its regular meetings – please note the agenda closing dates (submission dates) for these meetings. List B and Additional Matter applications, for more minor works, are also made online but are administered on a rolling programme rather than through the meeting schedule.
Diocesan Advisory Committee
In respect of works or other proposals, intending applicants should consult the Diocesan Advisory Committee on the works or proposals.
Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2022
The Lichfield Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) is a statutory body which provides advice and guidance to parishes on the conservation, alteration and appropriate development of church buildings and churchyards. The DAC also advises parishes on suitably qualified and experienced professionals to undertake quinquennial inspection (QI) surveys of churches in the diocese. The functions of the DAC are governed by the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018.
The DAC members and advisers have a wide range of knowledge in a variety of specialist fields, including church architecture, archaeology, bells, clocks, organs, heating, lighting, audio-visual, telecoms and trees. As a body, the DAC offers informal (pre-application) advice to parishes on proposals in the early stages of development, and subsequently gives formal (statutory) advice on faculty applications to the Diocesan Chancellor. It is the Chancellor, rather than the DAC, who grants faculty permission.
Church Buildings Team
The Church Buildings Team constitutes one of the Central Administrative Support Teams, which teams provide practical and administrative support across the diocese. The Church Buildings Team helps parishes to care for and develop their church buildings and churchyards, in the context of the diocesan vision of discipleship, vocation and evangelism (DVE), and provides administrative and casework support to the DAC.
The Church Buildings Team comprises four members of staff (full time and part time), each with specific areas of work responsibility:
- DAC Officers
- Giles Standing, DAC Secretary
- Helen Cook, Assistant DAC Secretary
- Church Buildings Officers
- Fiona North, Project Support and Church Buildings Officer
- Christine Rier, Church Buildings Support Officer (CBSO)
Before contacting the Church Buildings Team (below), you may find the answer to your enquiry under frequently asked questions (FAQs).