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 dates) 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.
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. These details are very important and you will need to upload a variety of supporting documents.
Online Faculty System (OFS)
The Lichfield DAC Office commenced use of the Online Faculty System for managing online applications for works to churches and churchyards in August 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
OFS changes from 1st April 2020
Permissions for works to churches and churchyards are governed by the Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019, which came into effect on 1st April 2020. The new legislation accordingly sees changes to how online applications submitted via the OFS are applied for and processed.
- Before starting a faculty application, please see the diocesan guidance on the main changes to the faculty application process and timings
Prior to making your application, please read the relevant diocesan guidance on the supporting documents required to be submitted as part of an online application:
For faculty applications for listed church buildings, please also consult the following Church of England guidance, which relates to an important part of the application process:
Key user manuals, with step-by-step instructions, include: