The faculty jurisdiction is the Church of England’s regulation of works to church buildings, their contents and churchyards. It ensures that churches are properly cared for, and that whatever is done to them is properly considered beforehand and carried out in the most appropriate way. The system recognises that churches are living buildings, many of which are of great historic significance but all of which exist for the worship of God and the mission of the Church.
A faculty is a licence to carry out work. Any work carried out in the absence of a faculty is illegal.
What it covers.
It covers all parish churches and those licensed for Church of England public worship, that is to say all repairs, alterations or extension to a church building or changes to its contents or churchyard.
Although most Church of England churches are ‘listed’, they are exempt from listed building control, except in certain unusual circumstances (where a church is not primarily in use for worship, or where total demolition is involved). Alteration and change is instead regulated by the faculty jurisdiction.
The exemption does not apply to planning and building controls, Health and Safety or other legislation.
Obtaining a faculty
The first stage in obtaining a faculty consists of seeking advice from the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). DAC members have a whole range of expertise, covering building conservation, liturgy, archaeology etc. This expertise is freely available, and parishes should contact the DAC at the earliest stage in their thinking to enable the Committee’s advice to be included in the project planning. Discussions can also include other bodies such as the Church Buildings Council, Historic England, the National Amenity Societies and the local authority.
Once the DAC has considered the proposal formally, it will issue a notification of advice. This is sent to the parish accompanied by a public notice, which must be displayed for 30 days, giving the parishioners and others the opportunity to make representations.
Pending Faculty Petitions
Rule 9.9 of The Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 provides that notice of certain Faculty Petitions relating to listed buildings should be published on a diocesan web site. From April 2020 these will now be made available via the Online Faculty System website at: https://facultyonline.churchofengland.org/public-notices
If you wish to object to the proposed works, please send your written objection to Mrs Amanda Redgate, Diocesan Registrar, Jubilee House, Westgate, Southwell NG25 0JH. Objections must reach the Registrar on or before the deadline for individual submissions referred in the notices below, or the deadline stated on the public notice exhibited at the church (whichever is the later).