While we have been confined to our homes, there have been important changes to the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules, which will concern anyone who is planning to undertake works to their church in the future. These came into force on 1 April and involve changes to the faculty process in two important areas.
Firstly, there have been significant revisions to both Lists A and B. Some matters which were previously in list B, requiring a written approval from an Archdeacon have now been moved to List A. Significant matters have been added to both categories and there is now greater distinction between listed and unlisted churches. Churchwardens and PCCs are advised to familiarise themselves with these changes, if they are thinking of undertaking any works to their church buildings, once the lockdown restrictions are relaxed. The revised lists can be viewed here.
Secondly, when considering significant proposals in the future, the DAC will not issue a Notification of Advice until the required consultation has taken place and any issues have been resolved. This will reduce the potential for delay, once a petition has been submitted to the Diocesan Chancellor. However, you should be mindful that the consultation period has been extended to 42 days, to give the relevant bodies sufficient time to respond. This will lengthen the faculty process for some people, thereby making early contact with the DAC more important. The Church Buildings Team will be on hand to support parishes through the consultation process.
The Church Buildings Council’s updated guidance for parishes on the new rules is available here. In the meantime, if you are unsure about what the changes to the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules mean for you, or if you you need to undertake any urgent work, please contact DAC Secretary, Adam Klups in the first instance: .
Finally, our parishes are reminded that, at the present time, no non-essential maintenance, building or conservation work is to be undertaken in any of our church buildings and churchyards. Urgent works must only be undertaken where they can be done so safely, with the appropriate social distancing measures in place. In this regard, we are following the advice of the Church Buildings Council, which can be viewed here.
Furthermore, Ecclesiastical has produced useful advice on caring for church buildings during the lockdown, which can be viewed here.
I look forward to getting to know you in the future, when lockdown restrictions are eased, and things begin to return to normal. In the meantime, please look after yourselves and your families, and stay safe.
Senior Church Buildings Officer