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.
List B and Additional Matter applications, for minor works, are not required to be considered at a Lichfield Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) meeting. Applications are administered on a rolling programme rather than through the meeting schedule. If the works that a parish wishes to undertake are not specifically mentioned in List B or the Additional Matters Orders (see below), then a faculty is required.
The online system is designed to guide and prompt you through your application. As part of the online application process, you will be required to give a written description of the proposed works, but in addition you will need to provide full technical details.
Please note that these details are very important and you will need to upload a variety of supporting documents. Without them your application will not be valid and is likely to be delayed in being processed.
Online Faculty System (OFS)
The Lichfield DAC Office commenced use of the OFS for managing online applications for works to churches and churchyards in 2017.
- You may find it helpful to save or bookmark the OFS website for ongoing use: facultyonline.churchofengland.org
Register with the OFS
- Register now to use the OFS – please note that registration is required to be approved by the DAC Office, so there may be a short delay while this occurs
List B applications
List B permission is applied for through an online application via the Online Faculty System (OFS).
Please do not request permission from the Archdeacon direct, as List B approval can only be granted through the OFS.
Works in List B of the Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2022 can be undertaken by an 'authorised person', that is acting on behalf of the minister and churchwardens (or, in a vacancy, the churchwardens only). The Assistant DAC Secretary will seek the advice of a DAC adviser on the submitted application before the Archdeacon issues the Archdeacon's Notice (written permission).
List B applications are subject to all of the 'specified conditions' for that particular matter in the list. The Archdeacon may make a List B matter subject to additional conditions to reflect advice received, or request a faculty for a List B matter if they think fit.
- List B can be consulted in full (below List A on the linked page) – the 'specified conditions' are located in the right-hand column
Additional Matter applications
Additional Matter permission is applied for through an online application via the Online Faculty System (OFS), described as an 'Additional Diocesan matter' at the bottom of the List B selection screen.
Please do not request permission from the Archdeacon direct, as Additional Matter approval can only be granted through the OFS.
The process for making and approving an Additional Matter application is the same as List B above.
Works in the Additional Matters Order for the Diocese of Lichfield supplement the national Lists A and B.
- View the Additional Matters Order
The Diocesan Chancellor has published a further Additional Matters Order, which allows for the installation of internet access equipment (subject to conditions).
- View the second Additional Matters Order
In every case, supporting documents are required to be submitted as part of a valid List B or Additional Matter application.
A range of documents is needed to assist the expert DAC adviser, who will be reviewing your submitted application, to understand the nature and scope of your proposal. The adviser will then be able to give statutory advice to the Archdeacon, which will inform the Archdeacon's determination of the case.
Why does the DAC ask for lots of written/drawn information?
- Protecting: the DAC is legally required to review and assess the degree of risk to materials, or of loss to archaeological or historic remains or records, arising from parish proposals
- Safeguarding: to fulfil this requirement, a DAC adviser must scrutinise, in very close detail, the technical aspects of proposals (including drawings and quotes), to safeguard the PCC, the church building, and the diocese
- Advising: the DAC adviser may not know your church, or have visited lately, so will benefit from as much contextual information (particularly photographs) that you can provide to assist in this process
- It is recommended that parishes consult their quinquennial inspector, as professional adviser to the PCC, or another suitably able professional, on the details of the materials proposed to be used and the working methods to be adopted (as below, specifically in relation to building repairs)
Please provide the following supporting documents:
- Illustrative photographs, showing both the general setting and specific details (e.g. church interior and existing fittings)
- A plan or marked-up photographs showing the location of the proposed works, including (where relevant):
- wiring routes to be created
- areas to be redecorated
- where items are to be introduced or removed
- Details of the materials proposed to be used and the working methods to be adopted
- An up-to-date copy of a quotation from the chosen contractor/s
- An explanation of how the applicant, in formulating the proposal, has had 'due regard' to guidance on net zero carbon issued by the Church of England's Church Buildings Council (CBC), in the case of matters to which that guidance applies (e.g. heating, lighting)
- Confirmation that the applicant is an 'authorised person', that is acting on behalf of the minister and churchwardens (or, in a vacancy, the churchwardens only)
When uploading information, please name each file by subject and give a description of its contents on the OFS for each file you are attaching. You can either upload all of the information in one session or you can add your information in separate sessions. Documents should be uploaded to the 'Supporting documents and images' tab within the application.
Specific application types
List B and Additional Matter applications can cover a broad range of proposals, and some application types will require specific documentation. The following examples are intended to assist parishes in planning the documents which are likely to be required to be commissioned or acquired for their online applications:
- Technical drawings and plans, and an associated written specification, by an architect
Audio-visual and internet access equipment:
- A specification of proposed equipment (with photographs), and wiring routes, by a specialist contractor
- A specification of proposed equipment (with photographs), and wiring routes, by a specialist contractor, and a copy of the CCTV Policy Template, downloaded from the Church of England's CCTV guidance web page, completed by the parish
Bells, clocks and organs:
- A condition report (with photographs) by a specialist contractor
- A tree survey report (with a churchyard plan and photographs) by a tree specialist
- A product sheet or catalogue entry, a churchyard plan or marked-up photographs showing the proposed location, information on the method of fixing, the plaque material and wording (if applicable), and provision for maintenance
Key user manuals, with step-by-step instructions, include:
If you are in any doubt as to exactly what List B or Additional Matter supporting documents to provide, please contact:
Helen Cook, Assistant DAC Secretary
01543 221155 firstname.lastname@example.org