Frequently asked questions (FAQs)


  • Before contacting the Church Buildings Team, you may find the answer to your enquiry under these frequently asked questions
  • Please follow the links in the answers below for detailed information on each subject (via web pages on this website)
  • The FAQs are added to on a rolling basis as common questions arise from parishes and applicants

Permissions for works

Q: Does my proposal require permission?

A: Some minor works (in a statutory list) can be carried out without diocesan consultation, but the majority of proposals require written permission, either as a faculty or List B permission.

Q: How do I apply for permission?

A: Parishes can request permission through an online application via the Church of England's Online Faculty System (OFS), a web-based application portal.

Q: What should I do if emergency works are required?

A: You should follow the emergency works procedure, to apply for an interim faculty.

Q: Where can I get help with using the Online Faculty System (OFS)?

A: You should start by consulting the step-by-step user manuals and the FAQs on the OFS website.

Q: Does the diocese have a list of approved contractors for church works?

A: No, the PCC should consult its quinquennial inspector (see below), as professional adviser, for advice on procuring and appointing suitable contractors.

Quinquennial inspections (QIs)

Q: What are the new requirements for quinquennial inspections?

A: The legislation and diocesan procedure relating to QIs have changed (in 2020/22), with PCCs taking a central role in the procurement and appointment process.

Q: Do we need to have an inspection every five years?

A: Yes, this is a legal requirement, and is designed to assist the PCC in the good management of its church building (and churchyard).

Q: Do we have to appoint a quinquennial inspector?

A: Yes, but a PCC is no longer required to appoint a registered architect or chartered building surveyor in every case.

Q: How do we find an inspector?

A: The DAC now maintains a register (rather than an 'approved list') with details of inspectors currently working in the diocese, from which the PCC can draw, or the PCC may wish to consider a new applicant not on that register.

Q: Can a quinquennial inspection be delayed or deferred?

A: No, there is no legal provision for postponing a QI survey which is due to be carried out.

Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC)

Q: What is the DAC?

A: The Lichfield DAC is a statutory body which provides advice and guidance to parishes on the conservation, alteration and appropriate development of church buildings and churchyards.

Q: When are the DAC meetings?

A: The DAC meets 6 times a year, at St Mary's House in Lichfield, to consider faculty and related applications – please note the agenda closing dates (submission dates) for these meetings.

Q: Can I access the DAC minutes?

A: Yes, the full explanatory minutes of DAC meetings, following approval by the DAC at each subsequent meeting, are published on this website.

Q: Who are the DAC members and advisers?

A: The DAC members and advisers have a wide range of knowledge in a variety of specialist fields, including church architecture, archaeology, bells, clocks, organs, heating, lighting, audio-visual, telecoms and trees.

Q: Do the DAC members and advisers conduct site visits?

A: Yes, site visits to church buildings and churchyards are conducted by DAC members as a group (DAC site visits), and by DAC advisers as individuals (adviser site visits).

Church Buildings Team

Q: How do I contact the Church Buildings Team?

A: The Church Buildings Team comprises four members of staff (full time and part time), each with specific areas of work responsibility.

Q: Can the Church Buildings Team answer a legal question?

A: No, you should direct your enquiry to the Diocesan Registry (legal office), having consulted their FAQs on this website.

Page last updated: Thursday 8th February 2024 10:39 AM
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