Where a PCC is seeking to undertake emergency works to one or more boilers in a church building, the two-part procedure below should be followed.
The following is reproduced from the Church of England guidance on Temporary Heating Options (2023), which is applicable to managing emergency works in the Diocese of Lichfield.
When a church's heating system breaks, rushing to replace a broken gas boiler with a new gas boiler may appear to solve the immediate problem, but it is often a missed opportunity to improve the way a building is heated.
To ensure low carbon options are at least considered, the updated Faculty Jurisdiction Rules (from July 2022) require an options appraisal and faculty permission for like-for-like boiler replacements. The PCC will need time to think about how the building is used, how it should be heated, and whether there is scope for reducing the building's carbon emissions.
During this period, a temporary heating solution may be needed.
For further advice on this first stage in responding to a heating emergency, please see the following Church of England guidance (2023):
Following consideration of temporary heating options (above), the parish should seek consent for the implementation of a temporary or permanent solution under emergency conditions.
An interim faculty allows works normally requiring a faculty to be undertaken without waiting for the full procedures of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules to be applied. An interim faculty is usually only granted where there is insufficient time available for those processes to be followed.
Where a boiler – but not including the wider heating system (e.g. radiators) – has completely failed and there is no heat in church, parishes can apply for an interim faculty for emergency works permission.
However, in accordance with the Church of England guidance on Permissions and Regulations (2022) and church heating, all faculty applications must have 'due regard' to key items of national guidance on net zero carbon, and this includes all heating applications. The key guidance to which parishes must show due regard is:
This process does not preclude a replacement fossil fuel boiler under emergency conditions if that is the right solution.
In the case of every interim faculty application for boiler replacement, the Diocesan Chancellor requires a DAC Heating Adviser to appraise the parish's submission, in relation to whether the parish has adequately had due regard to the key guidance above. Parishes are therefore advised to factor this additional requirement into their planning and timings.
- Please see the emergency works (interim faculty) procedure for how to apply for and submit the necessary application for permission
Please note: It is not possible for an Archdeacon to issue emergency List B permission, or to issue retrospective List B permission for works undertaken (a confirmatory faculty would need to be sought).