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Minor Works

Guidance issued by the Diocesan Chancellor to all parochial church councils, ministers and churchwardens in the Diocese as to works and matters not requiring a faculty

THESE RULES WILL CEASE TO OPERATE AS OF 1 JANUARY 2016 AND WILL BE REPLACED BY THE A AND B LISTS

 

Index
General introduction
Section A: Minor repairs and maintenance
Section B: Furniture and fixtures
Section C: Musical instruments
Section D: Bells and clocks
Section E: Movables
Section F: Churchyards
Section G: Church halls and similar buildings
Section H: Emergency items of work which may be authorised by the Archdeacon
Section I: Dispensations
General notes

 

General Introduction

1: This Guidance is issued on the authority of the Diocesan Chancellor for the purposes of section 11(8) of the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991.

2: The following list has been prepared after consultation with the Diocesan Advisory Committee and sets out those matters which for the time being may be undertaken without a Faculty. This list has taken effect as from the 1 October 2010. If the list is altered at a future date the Diocesan Chancellor will issue new Guidance.

3: The list is intended to assist parochial church councils, ministers and churchwardens so that they may be aware of when they may introduce or replace items or carry out work without a faculty. It is expected that they shall in all cases where the approval of the Archdeacon is required obtain such approval before entering into any contract for work to be carried out. Failure to obtain such approval prior to the commencement of the works or the introduction replacement or disposal of any items may result in the requirement of a Confirmatory Faculty for which additional fees – over and above the normal faculty fees – may be payable.

4: If you are in any doubt about any matter you should consult your Archdeacon, the DAC Secretary or the Diocesan Registrar

5: Where the list permits works up to a particular value to be carried out without a Faculty, the “works” to be valued are all the works comprised in a particular scheme of works – and not individual works.

6: Work must always be undertaken by suitably qualified personnel. The appropriate competence will vary for each type of work. The PCC should check whether the person or persons carrying out the work has or have the appropriate competence. Similarly the suitability of the materials to be used should be checked.

7: For certain – even minor - works local authority approval may be necessary – e.g. building regulation approval, planning permission, conservation area consent, listed building consent (where the works relate to some thing that has been separately listed) and approval in respect of trees protected under a Tree Preservation Order.

8: Where grant aid has previously been received it may be necessary to obtain the consent of the grant making body to later works in the Church – check the Grant Agreement or Grant Offer document for any conditions.

9: Whether or not a Faculty is necessary, work to a Church which is listed as a building of special architectural or historic interest should always be undertaken with great care and Parishes should consult their inspecting architect/surveyor or other adviser who is experienced in relation to works to similar listed churches.

10: Separate advice is available in respect of trees in churchyards and the carrying out of safety checks of memorials.

The following items listed under A–H may be carried out without a Faculty. Additionally, the Chancellor may be willing to permit a dispensation for items not covered by A–H, as per Section I below.

Section A: Minor Repairs and Maintenance

1: Works of Minor Repair or Maintenance of the fabric of the church not materially altering its appearance up to a value of £7,500 (excluding VAT and the cost of scaffolding) the specification of which has first been approved by the Archdeacon after his consultation as appropriate with the Diocesan Advisory Committee. Works below a value of £2,000 do not need to be referred to the Archdeacon. In the case of works to a Church which is listed as a Grade I or II* building of special architectural or historic interest, the Archdeacon may require a specification that has been prepared or approved by an architect or chartered building surveyor who has been approved by the DAC as the Inspecting Architect/Surveyor of the Church for the purposes of the Inspection of Churches Measure 1955. For example, maintenance includes:

  • replacement like for like of broken roof tiles or slates and window glass (except as stated below)
  • cleaning gutters and downpipes
  • treating isolated beetle and fungal activity (except in areas where bats may be affected).

but repair and maintenance does not include:

  • repairs to broken or cracked quarries in clear glazed or stained glass windows or other works to any stained glass or clear glazing of historic or artistic importance
  • repairs to tiled floors of historic or artistic importance
  • structural alterations
  • any demolition or partial demolition.

2: Works of Routine Maintenance to heating systems, gas, water or other services, electrical fittings or other electrical equipment (by approved NICEIC or ECA electricians or Gas Safe registered fitters) lightning conductors and furniture up to a value of £7,500 excluding VAT but not:

  • alterations to an existing heating system
  • rewiring or alterations or additions to existing electrical systems unless very minor in nature and approved in advance as Minor Works by the Archdeacon after consultation as appropriate with the Diocesan Advisory Committee
  • works to furniture of historic or artistic importance

3: External or internal redecoration using the same colours and materials the specification of which has first been approved by the Archdeacon after his consultation as appropriate with the Diocesan Advisory Committee. Works below a value of £2,000 do not need to be referred to the Archdeacon.

4: Treatment of fixtures and furniture against beetle or fungal activity the specification of which has first been approved by the Archdeacon after his consultation as appropriate with the Diocesan Advisory Committee. Works below a value of £2,000 do not need to be referred to the Archdeacon but not:

  • if bats are likely to be affected
  • treatment of furniture of historic or artistic importance

5: Repair of flagpoles

6: Repair and replacement of existing wire mesh window guards using non-ferrous materials.

Section B: Furniture and Fixtures

1: Introduction, removal or disposal of:
(a) Replacement moveable chairs of a colour, material, design or pattern similar to that of those to be replaced
(b) Furniture in a church hall but not items from the Church kept in the church hall
(c) Furniture, furnishings, office equipment and minor fixtures in vestries, not so as to change the use of the room as a vestry but not:

  • wall safes
  • items of historic artistic or liturgical importance

(d) Fire extinguishers – in accordance with the prior advice of the Fire Officer as to location and subject to the Archdeacon's agreement as to location and method of fixing
(e) Hymn boards – subject to the Archdeacon’s agreement as to location and method of fixing
(f) Internal Notice Boards - subject to the Archdeacon’s agreement as to location and method of fixing
(g) Small moveable bookcases or display stands

2: Replacement of carpets or curtains with the equivalent of similar colour, material, design or pattern and type of backing – but not

  • carpeting of additional areas
  • removal or disposal of valuable carpets

3: Additions of names to name boards and memorials (except war memorials unless the addition is made with the prior approval of the local branch of the Royal British Legion) within space available for such purpose in an existing style and using lettering and colours that match those previously used. 4: The use of a security system recommended by insurers for marking movable items kept in the Church.

Section C: Musical Instruments

1: Introduction, storage or removal of musical instruments and stands used by music groups.

2: Tuning and adjustment of harmoniums and pianos by a qualified person up to a value of £3,000 ex VAT.

3: Tuning of organs by a qualified person up to a value of £1,500 ex VAT but excluding overall pitch adjustment.

4: Routine and minor repairs to organs as long as the work falls within the following criteria:

(a) like is being replaced by like, provided there is no loss of items of special historical significance, and (b) no alteration to tonal or mechanical or architectural aspects is to be made, and

(c) the work may be undertaken and completed without removing or dismantling other parts of the organ, and

(d) the character and appearance of the organ will not be changed or affected or interfered with, and

(e) the cost will not exceed £3,000 including professional fees but excluding VAT, and

(f) notice of the work is given to the Archdeacon (in writing with a full description of what is proposed) and is authorised by him in writing.

The Archdeacon shall consult with the Consultant Organ Adviser to the DAC on every such matter. Where either the Archdeacon or the Consultant Organ Adviser considers that changes of character or appearance of the organ may result from the proposed work or that the work does not otherwise fall within the criteria of this paragraph, then the enquirer shall be so informed and none of the work the subject of the enquiry shall be undertaken unless a faculty is first obtained.

As examples, a blower may be exchanged or a main reservoir (bellows) may be re-leathered, broken trackers or stickers or buttons may be replaced (either like for like or with original materials on restoration grounds), pneumatic motors may be re-leathered, magnets and contacts may be replaced, damaged pipes may be repaired, or missing pipes may be replaced, without a faculty, if the work can be done without disturbing the rest of the organ and the other criteria listed above are observed.

Examples of work NOT included in this list would be: alterations to tonal scheme e.g. by changes to pipework (addition, substitution, re-voicing, regulation, pitch adjustment, fitting of tuning slides to cone tuned pipework), or to action e.g. by electrification, or to appearance e.g. by moving all or part of the organ or by redecoration. The work must be noted in the church log book.

5: Maintenance and repairs to pianos using matching materials.

Section D: Bells and Clocks

1: Inspection and routine maintenance of bells and bell frames, except bells included in the Schedule of Bells for Preservation in Chester Diocese For example:

  • the repair or replacement of a broken clapper or staple
  • the re-bushing of clappers
  • the replacement or repair of bell bearings, stays, sliders, hastings, toggles and runner boards
  • the renovation/replacement of existing ground pulleys
  • the repair of damaged wheels
  • the replacement of damaged or corroded bolts with similar

Such repairs or replacements must be carried out or the materials supplied by a firm or company which specialises in and is experienced in working with church bells Work to bearings and clapper bushes must be inspected on completion by an advisor appointed by the Chester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. but not:

  • repairs to bells and bell frames or the replacement of parts
  • repairs to the headstock
  • removal of bells from bell frames

2: Inspection and routine maintenance of clocks and clock faces

Section E: Movables

Introduction, removal, replacement or disposal of:

1: Kneelers, hassocks, and cushions but not the replacement of all or a substantial number of them

2: Surplices, albs, cassocks, choir robes and vergers’ robes

3: Cruets

4: Vases

5: Service books authorised by Canon but not the disposal of pre-1900 books or handbound or other valuable books

6: Bibles, hymn books, song books and sheet or bound music but not the disposal of pre-1900 books or handbound or other valuable books

7: Altar linen and, with the prior agreement of the Archdeacon, frontals or falls

8: Decorative flags and banners used for temporary displays

9: The Union flag, St George’s flag or the diocesan flag

Section F: Churchyards

1: Routine repair of paths including resurfacing of paths in the same material and colour

2: Routine trimming and pruning of hedges shrubs and bushes - but not trees

3: Repairs to and repainting in the same colour of a notice board

4: Updating of information on notice boards in the same colours and style (e.g. change or addition of name of minister, verger etc and service times)

5: Minor repairs to walls, fences, gates and lychgates where matching materials are to be used up to a value of £7,500 (excluding VAT and the cost of scaffolding) the specification of which has first been approved by the Archdeacon after his consultation as appropriate with the Diocesan Advisory Committee. Works below a value of £2,000 do not need to be referred to the Archdeacon. but not:

  • Works to walls or lychgates which are listed as buildings of special artistic or historic interest.

6: Introduction of wooden benches of a plain and simple design not measuring more than 2 metres in length in the churchyard. The wording of any associated commemorative inscription or plaque shall be approved by the incumbent and any plaque shall be no larger than 100mm by 50mm.

7: Purchase, use, maintenance or replacement of lawnmowers and similar equipment used for the maintenance of churchyards

Section G: Church halls and similar buildings

A Church Hall or similar building is not normally subject to Faculty Jurisdiction. However, a Church Hall that has been constructed on consecrated ground or is within the grounds or curtilage of a consecrated Church or forms part of a consecrated building is subject to faculty jurisdiction and this Guidance is applicable. A Church Hall that has been constructed within the grounds or curtilage of a building licensed for public worship may be subject to faculty jurisdiction – if in doubt, check with the DAC Secretary or Registrar to ascertain if there are any restrictions in respect of the work that you propose.

Section H: Emergency items of work which may be authorised by the Archdeacon

1: Installation of security locks on doors and/or windows when the Archdeacon is satisfied that they are urgently required and has given approval in writing. The Archdeacon may wish to consult the Diocesan Advisory Committee in an appropriate case.

2: Installation of security lighting or camera(s) on a temporary basis where there is an urgent need to protect the building against burglary or vandalism pending the grant of a faculty for a permanent scheme when the Archdeacon is satisfied that they are urgently required, has given his approval in writing and the specification is approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

Section I: Dispensation in other cases

Where the proposal is of a similarly minor nature but does not appear in the above list, the Chancellor may be willing to dispense with a faculty, sometimes subject to conditions such as consultation with the Diocesan Advisory Committee. The Chancellor’s decision will normally be based upon a letter, to be sent to the Registrar, giving all relevant information about the proposal.

GENERAL NOTES

1: A faculty is not required for the deposit of parochial registers or other parochial records in the diocesan record office nor for the obtaining of new registers.

2: A Faculty is required for the deposit of plate and other artefacts in any museum, bank vault or other place.

3: Acquisitions and the disposal of articles and all other works and matters included in the list must be recorded in the church log book.

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The DAC Office - The office of the Diocesan Advisory Commitee (DAC) has responsibility for progressing faculty applications and providing policy advice on church building matters.  The answer to most popular enquiries will be available via these web pages but do contact the DAC Office if not.  Where appropriate, the DAC Office can put you in touch with churches who have undertaken similar work to any scheme you might be proposing yourself.