Permissions for works: churches and churchyards

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

Permissions for works to churches and churchyards are governed by the Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2022, which came into effect on 1st July 2022. These Rules amend and extend the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 that commenced in January 2016 as part of the national faculty simplification process.

The amended Rules include two updated lists, List A and List B, which have been substantially revised and expanded to contain more works that may be undertaken without a faculty (subject to 'specified conditions'), specifically to help churches meet carbon-reduction targets. These lists apply in all dioceses of the Church of England.

A supplementary list, the Additional Matters Order, by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Lichfield was published on 1st January 2021, which contains works in addition to the national Lists A and B that may also be undertaken without a faculty (subject to conditions).

The Diocesan Chancellor has also published a second Additional Matters Order, which allows for the installation of internet access equipment without a faculty (subject to conditions).

If the works that a parish wishes to undertake are not specifically mentioned in List A or List B, or the Additional Matters Orders, then a faculty is required.

Further details on the national permissions framework, including the amended Rules, can be found below, and in the 'How we manage our buildings' section of the Church of England website.

The updated legislation accordingly sees changes to how online applications submitted via the Online Faculty System (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

No permission required

List A

An 'authorised person', acting on behalf of the minister and churchwardens, may undertake a matter (item of works) in List A of the Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2022 without diocesan consultation or written permission, subject to all of the 'specified conditions' for that particular matter in the list. It is important that these conditions are adhered to. List A works can be logged through an online record via the Online Faculty System (OFS), but this is not a statutory requirement; they should be entered into the church's log book.

  • List A is published in full here – the 'specified conditions' are located in the right-hand column

Archdeacon's permission

List B

Works in List B of the Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2022 can be undertaken by an 'authorised person' provided that the Archdeacon has been consulted and has given written notice (through the online process described below) that they approve the works or proposals as detailed. The Archdeacon will seek the advice of a DAC member or adviser before issuing an Archdeacon's Notice (written permission). They may make a List B matter subject to additional conditions to reflect advice received, or request a faculty for a List B matter if they think fit. List B permission is applied for through an online application via the Online Faculty System (OFS).

  • List B is published in full (below List A) here – the 'specified conditions' are located in the right-hand column

Additional Matters

Works in the Additional Matters Order for the Diocese of Lichfield, which supplements the national Lists A and B, can be undertaken by an 'authorised person' provided that the Archdeacon has been consulted and has given written notice (through the online process described below) that they approve the works or proposals as detailed. The procedure for making and approving an application is the same as List B above. Additional Matter permission is applied for through an online application via the Online Faculty System (OFS), described as an 'Additional Diocesan matter' at the bottom of the List B selection screen.

  • The Additional Matters Order can be viewed here

The Diocesan Chancellor has published a further Additional Matters Order, which allows for the installation of internet access equipment without a faculty (subject to conditions).

  • This second Additional Matters Order can be viewed here

Temporary minor re-ordering

Proposals for schemes of temporary minor re-ordering require the Archdeacon's permission. An Archdeacon's Licence (written permission) for temporary minor re-ordering can be issued to the minister and PCC for a specified period of up to 24 months, but cannot be granted when a parish is in vacancy. A faculty can subsequently be applied for to make the temporary arrangement permanent. For further advice, please see the following Diocesan Registry guidance note and contact your Archdeacon direct. Temporary minor re-ordering permission is applied for through an online application via the Online Faculty System (OFS).

Chancellor's permission

Faculty

If the works that a parish wishes to undertake are not specifically mentioned in List A or List B, or the Additional Matters Order, then a faculty is required. Faculty applications are 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. As a body, the DAC offers informal (pre-application) advice to parishes on proposals in the early stages of development, and subsequently gives formal (statutory) advice on faculty applications to the Diocesan Chancellor. It is the Chancellor, rather than the DAC, who grants faculty permission. Faculty permission is applied for through an online application via the Online Faculty System (OFS).

  • Before starting a faculty application, please see the diocesan guidance on the main changes to the faculty application process and timings

Interim faculty (emergency works)

An interim faculty allows works normally requiring a faculty to be undertaken without waiting for the full procedures of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules to be applied. An interim faculty is usually only granted where there is insufficient time available for those processes to be followed. It is available only in an emergency where the works proposed are unavoidable and the works proposed are the minimum necessary to prevent a situation from worsening. It is not designed to 'speed up' or bypass the faculty process. For further advice, please see the following guidance or contact Phil Collins, Diocesan Registry Assistant (below).

Confirmatory faculty (unauthorised works)

If a parish has undertaken unauthorised works, either without a faculty or having departed from the approved details (e.g. plans or specification) or conditions of a faculty, then a confirmatory faculty must be sought by the parish. This is the case also for unauthorised List B or Additional Matter works as there is no such retrospective permission. In such circumstances, please contact Phil Collins, Diocesan Registry Assistant (below).

Permissions summary

 
Permission type Application forms Supporting documents External consultation Public notice
List A
List B/Additional Matter
Temporary minor re-ordering
Faculty ✓ (if applicable)
Interim faculty
Confirmatory faculty ✓ (if applicable)

Please note: Neither the grant of a faculty nor notification that a faculty is not required removes any requirement for planning permission or other statutory consent. These may be required for external alterations to churches or to structures within the churchyard, or to the churchyard itself, including its boundary and/or trees. In such cases, the PCC must check with the Local Planning Authority whether planning permission or other consent is needed.

Getting help...

If you have any queries regarding permission types, please contact the respective case officer:

List B and Additional Matters:
Helen Cook, Assistant DAC Secretary
01543 622569 helen.cook@lichfield.anglican.org

Faculty (except interim/confirmatory):
Giles Standing, DAC Secretary
01543 622540 giles.standing@lichfield.anglican.org

Interim faculty and confirmatory faculty:
Phil Collins, Diocesan Registry Assistant
01902 702033 philip.collins@fbcmb.co.uk

Page last updated: Friday 1st July 2022 2:15 PM
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