- Before contacting the Church Buildings Team, you may find the answer to your enquiry under these frequently asked questions
- Please follow the links in the answers below for detailed information on each subject (via web pages on this website)
- The FAQs are added to on a rolling basis as common questions arise from parishes and applicants
Permissions for works
Q: Does my proposal require permission?
A: Some minor works (in a statutory list) can be carried out without diocesan consultation, but the majority of proposals require written permission, either as a faculty or List B permission.
Q: How do I apply for permission?
A: Parishes can request permission through an online application via the Church of England's Online Faculty System (OFS), a web-based application portal.
Q: What should I do if emergency works are required?
A: You should follow the emergency works procedure, to apply for an interim faculty.
Q: Where can I get help with using the Online Faculty System (OFS)?
Q: Does the diocese have a list of approved contractors for church works?
A: No, the PCC should consult its quinquennial inspector (see below), as professional adviser, for advice on procuring and appointing suitable contractors.
Quinquennial inspections (QIs)
Q: What are the new requirements for quinquennial inspections?
A: The legislation and diocesan procedure relating to QIs have changed (in 2020/22), with PCCs taking a central role in the procurement and appointment process.
Q: Do we need to have an inspection every five years?
A: Yes, this is a legal requirement, and is designed to assist the PCC in the good management of its church building (and churchyard).
Q: Do we have to appoint a quinquennial inspector?
A: Yes, but a PCC is no longer required to appoint a registered architect or chartered building surveyor in every case.
Q: How do we find an inspector?
A: The DAC now maintains a register (rather than an 'approved list') with details of inspectors currently working in the diocese, from which the PCC can draw, or the PCC may wish to consider a new applicant not on that register.
Q: Can a quinquennial inspection be delayed or deferred?
A: No, there is no legal provision for postponing a QI survey which is due to be carried out.
Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC)
Q: What is the DAC?
A: The Lichfield DAC is a statutory body which provides advice and guidance to parishes on the conservation, alteration and appropriate development of church buildings and churchyards.
Q: When are the DAC meetings?
A: The DAC meets 6 times a year, at St Mary's House in Lichfield, to consider faculty and related applications – please note the agenda closing dates (submission dates) for these meetings.
Q: Can I access the DAC minutes?
A: Yes, the full explanatory minutes of DAC meetings, following approval by the DAC at each subsequent meeting, are published on this website.
Q: Who are the DAC members and advisers?
A: 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.
Q: Do the DAC members and advisers conduct site visits?
A: Yes, site visits to church buildings and churchyards are conducted by DAC members as a group (DAC site visits), and by DAC advisers as individuals (adviser site visits).
Church Buildings Team
Q: How do I contact the Church Buildings Team?
A: The Church Buildings Team comprises four members of staff (full time and part time), each with specific areas of work responsibility.