Faculty Applications & Advice

The Faculty process is a necessary safeguard to ensure that alterations and repairs to our church buildings are of the highest quality and that important contents are preserved. However, for those involved in making changes to a church it can seem cumbersome.

New Faculty Jurisdiction Rules

On 1 April 2020 new faculty rules come into effect. This is the first substantial change since the 2015 rules that introduced the lists of works that could be done without faculty, some after confirmation by the Archdeacon that a faculty is not needed.

The new rules add to both List A (works that can be done without permission) and List B (works that the Archdeacon must confirm do not need a faculty). There will be more routine, repair and maintenance works that will not need faculty. The range of items in the list is increased and a distinction made between listed and unlisted buildings where appropriate. Matters to encourage better use of energy are moved into the lists for example.

One intention of the new rules is to see churches better supported through the faculty process. For churches with far-reaching proposals that will change the character of a listed building wide consultation remains necessary. This consultation (with Historic England, Amenity Societies et al) must now take place before the works come to the DAC, thus enabling a more comprehensive response before the Chancellor sees the final application.

To support this, the Online Faculty System has been revised and all new applications from 1 April will have new screens reflecting the new rules and to encourage close working with the DAC. The main change that experienced users will notice is at the start of a new faculty application. The first engagement will ask only two questions –form 1 and a description of the project. The DAC will review this and advise the next steps according to what is really needed. This is intended to encourage close engagement and save a church providing more than is needed.

All applications started on or before 31 March will follow the current rules, and the online system will automatically identify these and continue to process them as at present.

The text of the new rules is here and updated guidance for parishes on the new rules is here. The flowchart can be downloaded as a stand-along document

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Changes Made in 2014:

Legislation Amendments
1) Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2013
The new Rules came into effect on 1 January 2014. They apply from that date to all cases where a faculty petition has not already been submitted in respect of the works or other proposals in question. There are transitional arrangements so that Faculty applications made under the old Rules will continue to use the old Rules. A full summary of the Rules is set out in the explanatory memorandum which accompanied the Rules when they were laid before the General Synod.

A significant new aspect of the rules is the requirement to submit a standard information form (Form 1A in most cases). This replaces the old Advice Application form and will only need to be reproduced should any of the information change.

2) Amendments to the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991The provisions of the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (Amendment) Measure 2015 (except Section 11 which came into force on Royal Assent) come into force on 1 April 2015. The commencement order, which contains transitional and saving provisions, is available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/593/made

An explanatory note to the provisions of the Measure can be found at: http://www.churchcare.co.uk/images/Explanatory_notes_to_CCEJAM.PDF

On 1 January 2016 the new simplified Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 come into force. The full Rules are published at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/1568/contents/made

There is a new national ‘A List’ of works which can be carried out on your church without a Faculty. This replaces all Diocesan De Minimus and Minor Works lists. The A List can be found in Schedule I, Table 1 of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015. 

There is a new national ‘B List’ of works which can be carried out once the written permission of the Archdeacon has been obtained. Most of these will be repairs and routine maintenance or small works identified in the QI report. The Archdeacon must consult the DAC (usually via the Secretary) for informed informal advice, but this should be a speedy and simple process enabling parishes to get on with the work without delay. The Archdeacon may set conditions on the way the works are carried out. The B List can be found in Schedule I, Table 2 of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015. 

The new Rules include new forms to apply for a faculty (which are included in the online faculty system). These are available online https://facultyonline.churchofengland.org/forms.  To help you work with the new Lists A and B there is a list of Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.churchcare.co.uk/images/New_Rules_Q_and_As.pdf

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