Faculty application process

Permissions for works to churches and churchyards are governed by the Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019, which came into effect on 1st April 2020. This updated legislation accordingly sees changes to how online applications submitted via the Online Faculty System (OFS) are applied for and processed.

A central intention of the amended Rules is to better guide parishes through the faculty application process. To support this, the OFS has been revised, and all new applications from 1st April 2020 have new screens reflecting the updated Rules and to encourage close working with the Lichfield Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC).

Key changes to the OFS are:

  • Each new case is now treated as an informal application, for the informal (pre-application) advice of the DAC, with the incremental release of the necessary forms up to the point of a formal application
  • External formal consultation with other statutory bodies (e.g. Historic England and the National Amenity Societies) has been moved to earlier in the process, before the DAC issues its own formal (statutory) advice
  • Consultees can now record their formal advice direct within the system, and the public notice stage allows public access to the application documents, including the petition, via the OFS (compliant with GDPR)

At the start of a new faculty application, the parish is asked to complete only a summary description of the proposed works and the standard information form. The DAC Secretary will review these and advise on the next steps according to what is specifically needed.

The second stage requires submission of the early parts of the petition form and, if a listed church building, Statements of Significance and Needs. This process is intended to save parishes providing more information than is needed. Advice on the required supporting documents will also be given.

When submitted via the OFS at this stage, the application will receive the informal (pre-application) advice of the DAC. An informal application gives parishes the opportunity to receive feedback and guidance from the DAC on a proposal. Informal advice can also be offered before undertaking a DAC site visit, to best inform the visit.

Please note that an application for formal (statutory) advice submitted by a DAC agenda closing date (submission date) may be considered at a subsequent meeting due to the requirement for an in-between period (up to 42 days) of external formal consultation with other statutory bodies via the OFS.

All applications started before 1st April 2020 will follow the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015, and the OFS will automatically identify these and continue to process them as such.

Submission stage summary

Forms/documents Submission stage Advice format
Summary description of proposed works    
Standard information (Form 1A)    
  Initial DAC review DAC Secretary
Petition details (parts of Form 3A)    
Statement of Significance (if applicable)    
Statement of Needs (if applicable)    
Supporting documents    
  Informal DAC advice DAC meeting
External formal consultation (if applicable)    
  Formal DAC advice DAC meeting

Following receipt of formal DAC advice, applications proceed to the petition, public notice and faculty determination stages

User manuals

The OFS has a frequently asked questions section and a number of user manuals, which can be consulted at any time.

Key user manuals, with step-by-step instructions, relating to the revised OFS – and the submission stages above – include:

Getting help...

If you have any queries regarding the faculty application process, please contact:

Giles Standing, DAC Secretary
01543 622540 giles.standing@lichfield.anglican.org

Page last updated: 24th May 2021 10:44 AM