"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 disciples can gather and grow (D)
- beacons of welcome and change, drawing communities together (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 550
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.
"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 deadlines) for these meetings. List B and Additional Matter applications (Archdeacon's permission), also made online, are administered on a rolling programme rather than through the meeting schedule.
Diocesan Advisory Committee
"Applicants should seek the advice of the Diocesan Advisory Committee on the works or other proposals in respect of which a faculty... is to be sought."
Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015
The Lichfield Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) is a statutory body which provides advice and
guidance to parishes on the conservation and appropriate development of church buildings and churchyards, and their repair and maintenance. The DAC also approves architects and surveyors 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.
members and advisers have a wide range of knowledge in a variety of specialist fields, including church architecture, bells, furnishings, art, archaeology, heating, furniture, stained glass and more. As a body, the DAC makes recommendations to the Diocesan Chancellor on faculty applications. Parishes can also seek the informal advice of the DAC, prior to making a faculty application. Administrative and casework support for the Committee is provided by the DAC Secretary and Assistant DAC Secretary (part of the Church Buildings Team).
Church Buildings Team
The Church Buildings Team is one of the
Central Administrative Support Teams, which provide practical and administrative support across the diocese. The Church Buildings Team helps parishes to care for and develop their church buildings, in the context of the diocesan vision of discipleship, vocation and evangelism (DVE).
The Team spans several diocesan departments and currently comprises five members of staff (full time and part time), each with their specific areas of focus and responsibility:
- Giles Standing, DAC Secretary
- Vacancy (filled), Assistant DAC Secretary
- Kristina Williamson, Church Buildings Development Officer
- Pat Evemy, Church Buildings Support Officer (role finishing November 2019)
- Fiona North, Parish Project Support Officer