Permissions for works: churches and churchyards

New Faculty Jurisdiction Rules

Permissions for works to churches and churchyards are governed by the Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019, which came into effect on 1st April 2020. These Rules amend and extend the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 that commenced on 1st January 2016 as part of the national faculty simplification process.

The new 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'). 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 has similarly been updated on 1st April 2020, which contains works in addition to the national Lists A and B that may also be undertaken 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 Order, then a faculty is required.

Further details on the national permissions framework, including the new Rules, can be found below and in the 'How we manage our buildings' section of the Church of England website. The Lichfield Diocesan Registry has also published a guidance note on the most significant changes in the new Rules.

The new 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 OFS changes to the 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 2019 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.

  • 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 2019 can be undertaken by an 'authorised person' provided that the Archdeacon has been consulted and has given written notice 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 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

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).

Interim faculty: urgent works

An enquiry or request for urgent works to a church or churchyard, such as after metal theft or vandalism, should be made direct to the Diocesan Registry. Where applicable, the Diocesan Registry Assistant will issue an interim faculty application form to the applicant, which will capture the information required by the Chancellor. A full faculty is subsequently required to make the interim works permanent. For further advice, please see the following guidance or contact Rowan Jones, Diocesan Registry Assistant: rowan.jones@fbcmb.co.uk

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 Rowan Jones, Diocesan Registry Assistant: rowan.jones@fbcmb.co.uk

Permissions summary

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

Getting help…

If you have any queries regarding the operation of the above permissions, please contact:

Giles Standing, DAC Secretary
01543 622540 giles.standing@lichfield.anglican.org
or
Imogen Campbell, Assistant DAC Secretary
01543 622569 imogen.campbell@lichfield.anglican.org

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.


Page last updated: 30th April 2020 8:42 AM