Do You Need a Faculty?
Guidance on what level of authorisation PCCs need to obtain for work to churches
THE SYSTEM WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGING FROM 1 JANUARY 2016 - SEE THE DAC WELCOME PAGE
No permission needed
Works of minor repair or maintenance of the fabric of the church (not materially altering its appearance) up to a value of £2,000 (excluding VAT and the cost of any scaffolding) require no permission. Specified work up to £7,500 may be able to be authorised by the Archdeacon without a faculty under Minor Works. The Minor Works regulations will be replaced on from 1 January 2016 by new arrangements called the A and B Lists. But under both systems changes to a building - regardless of their cost - will normally need prior, formal authorisation through faculty.
Works of minor repair or maintenance of the fabric of the church (not materially altering its appearance) in the value band £2,000 to £7,500 (excluding VAT and the cost of any scaffolding) require the prior approval of the Archdeacon after his consultation as appropriate with the DAC.
Archdeacon’s Temporary Licence
Parishes may apply to their Archdeacon for temporary permission to trial works (e.g. limited pew removals) for up to 15 months. Such applications should include full details of the proposed works (a description of why the work is proposed, photos of the area concerned, drawings where applicable, plus a description of storage arrangements for any items being temporarily removed). The works must be entirely reversible. By the 12-month point, the parish must either reverse the works or make them permanent through a formal faculty application.
A formal faculty application is required for any works which are not covered by the above categories.
Emergency (“Interim”) Licence
An Interim Licence may be granted for emergency works where urgent action is required on health and safety grounds ahead of the statutory 28-day public notice period. Such circumstances would include repairs to dangerous stonework, urgent roof repairs or replacement of a failed heating boiler in cold weather. The parish must provide the DAC Office with full details of the proposed works (a contractor’s specification and plans/photographs as appropriate) so that the precise nature of the works is clear. A Licence can normally be granted within 3 working days subject to approval by the Diocesan Chancellor. The parish would subsequently have to formalise the works with a full retrospective faculty application. Although this means that the public notices are displayed after the works have been done, it nevertheless allows a formal opportunity for people to object and for the Chancellor to consider those objections - albeit retrospectively. The Chancellor will take account of any such objections before granting a confirmatory faculty. If urgent health and safety concerns suggest that immediate action is required, even ahead of the normal processing time for an Interim Licence, parishes should telephone the DAC Office or Registrar to discuss the situation.