Church Buildings and DAC

The DAC and DVE in action

"Your visit was helpful in assisting us to identify where to focus our attention first and how we might use the church building better in our mission in the parish."
The Revd Paula Smith, Priest in Charge
Donnington Wood, St Matthew (Explore church in 3D)

The vision, mission and ministry of the diocese is focused around the three priority areas of discipleship, vocation and evangelism (DVE) – following in the footsteps of the first bishop of Lichfield, St Chad.

Updated advice for winter 2018/19

Emergency works procedure

Urgent works permission

Church Buildings

"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.

Faculty Jurisdiction

"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 Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) at one of its regular meetings – please note the agenda closing dates (submission deadlines) for these meetings. List B (Archdeacon's permission) applications, 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 in the diocese.

The DAC 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 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 for discipleship, vocation and evangelism (DVE).

The Team spans several diocesan departments and comprises four members of staff (full time and part time), each with their specific areas of focus and responsibility:

  • Kristina Williamson, Church Buildings Officer and DAC Secretary
  • Giles Standing, Assistant DAC Secretary
  • Pat Evemy, Church Building Support Officer
  • Fiona North, Parish Project Support Officer