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Last updated 24th March 2022

Faculties and other Permissions for Works to Churches

 

Applying for Permission for Works to Churches
 

Any works to churches affecting the interior, exterior, churchyard or contents can be placed into one of three categories:

  • List A - these works do not need any formal permission.
  • List B - these works need permission from the Archdeacon (List B replaces the old 'de minimis' system).
  • Faculty - these works need recommending by the DAC and granting permission from the Diocesan Chancellor.

A copy of all works which can be done under List A and B permission can be downloaded here. Please contact the Senior Church Buildings Officer for more advice on List A and B works; details below.


Faculties

A faculty granted by the consistory court of the Diocese is required before any alterations, additions or repairs are carried out to the fabric, fixtures or fittings of a church which fall outside Lists A and B.   

A faculty is also required for the introduction, repair or disposal (including sale) of any plate, pictures, ornaments or other moveable goods of a church.  Any secular use of a church may need to be authorised by faculty.  The faculty jurisdiction also applies to the churchyard so that a faculty is required for putting up a building or other structure on the churchyard, the introduction of a monument, the exhumation of human remains or the reservation of a grave space.  Churchyard trees are also subject to faculty jurisdiction.

One exception relates to monuments in churchyards which can be introduced with the permission of the minister provided that the monument complies with the diocesan churchyard regulations.  If you are in any doubt about whether a particular proposal requires a faculty you should seek advice from the diocesan registry.

All faculty applications are processed using the Online Faculty System. See below for more information about this.

The faculty fee for 2022 is £311.20 inclusive of VAT. All faculty fees are paid for by the Diocesan Board of Finance unless works are carried out deliberately without permission when the fee must be paid by the PCC.


 

Licence for a Temporary Minor Reordering

Sometimes PCC's wish to experiement with changes to the building to see if the works are successful. In this case, a Licence for a Temporary Minor Reordering (TMRO) can be applied for. This permission is given by the archdeacon, after advice from the DAC, and can last up to two years. It only applies to works that are completely reversible so that if the PCC decide that the experiment has not been a success, all can be returned exactly as it was before. 

Once the time limit for the permission is coming to an end (or at any point during the time) and the works have been successful, PCC's must apply for full faculty permission to regularise the works so that the faculty is granted two months before the expiry date, even if the works are listed under List B permission.

TMROs must be applied for by the minister in charge of the church, with the authorisation of the PCC and cannot be applied for during a vacancy.

All TMROs are applied for using the Online Faculty System. See below for more information about this.


The Online Faculty System

The Online Faculty System (OFS) is designed to process faculty applications for alterations, additions or repairs works that are determined by the diocesan chancellor, as well as applications for List B matters. It can also be used to record List A works. All faculty and List B works are applied for using this system.

Note, the online faculty system cannot be used for the reservation of a grave space, an application for a memorial which falls outside the churchyard regulations or for applying for an exhumation. To apply for these works, please contact the Diocesan Registry.

 

The Two Stage System for Starting Faculty Applications

All faculty applications begin with two stage system. Below is a quick summary of how the two stage system works:

  • Stage one: The petitioner starts a new application on the online faculty system, clicks 'none of the above' on List A and B and then finish form. The petitioner then completes the Standard Information form and submits the application. The DAC Secretary will check to ensure that the works require a faculty (as opposed to needing List B permission) and will then resend the faculty back to the petitioner with a list of documents needed for the faculty application.
  • Stage two: The petitioner completes the online Petition, Statement of Significance and Statement of Need forms in the 'details' section of the application and uploads all requested documents into the 'supporting documents' section of the application. The application is then submitted for the DAC Secretary to check the faculty documents before adding the application to the next DAC agenda.

The two stage system ensures that petitoners are applying for the correct permissions and prevents petitioners from completing or uploading documents that are not necessary for the faculty application.

 

Assistance for Parishes using the Online Faculty System (OFS)


For advice on the faculty process and the online system, please contact Jen Read, Senior Church Buildings Officer: jen.read@blackburn.anglican.org or 07899 348952

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