It is a statutory requirement for the following ecclesiastical buildings to be inspected at least once every 5 years, in the form of a quinquennial inspection (QI):
- all parish churches in the diocese
- all other consecrated churches and chapels
- buildings licensed for public worship
The quinquennial inspection comprises an on-site survey and subsequent written report.
Please note that the Archdeacon has authority to require an inspection where one has not been carried out within the specified time period, under section 47 of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018.
QI changes (2020)
The procedure relating to QIs has changed, with the coming into effect of the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2020 in September 2020. This legislation amends section 45 of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018, which governs the inspection of ecclesiastical buildings.
Key changes are that a PCC is no longer required to:
- appoint a registered architect or chartered building surveyor in every case
- select from an 'approved list' of names administered by the Lichfield Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC)
Instead, a suitably qualified and experienced professional can be identified by the PCC, with the appointment made subject to DAC advice.
A PCC is accordingly now required to:
- request advice from the DAC on the proposed choice of quinquennial inspector, after which the final, informed decision lies with the PCC
New Diocesan Scheme (2022)
In accordance with this change in legislation, the Lichfield Diocesan Synod established a new Diocesan Scheme for the Inspection of Churches in November 2020, and subsequently updated it in June 2022, from which date that amended Scheme came into operation within the diocese.
PCCs and quinquennial inspectors should read the details of the amended Scheme, as these constitute diocesan requirements in addition to the legislation:
- Lichfield Diocesan Scheme for the Inspection of Churches (Amended 2022)
Appointing a quinquennial inspector
An inspector can only be appointed by the PCC following consultation with the DAC. As each application for DAC advice constitutes a particular combination of inspector and church building, advice is accordingly given on a case-by-case basis.
- Before starting an application for DAC advice, please see the diocesan guidance on appointing a quinquennial inspector, including details of the application process and timings
Quinquennial inspection report
The quinquennial inspection report is one of the key documents which assists the PCC in the care and repair of a church building, for which it is legally responsible. It gives an overview of the repair needs of the building, and lists the repairs required by priority.
- Before commissioning a QI report, please see the diocesan guidance on quinquennial inspection reports, including details of the new report format and submission timings
Church Building Fund
The Lichfield Diocesan Board of Finance (LDBF) created a new fund in December 2020 to help parishes with the cost of quinquennial inspections of their church buildings. The fund is known as the Church Building Fund, and is administered by the diocesan Finance Team (rather than the DAC officers).