Church buildings, their contents and grounds are protected by the Faculty Jurisdiction, and under this legislation, a significant number of alterations, repairs, extensions or additions need to have consent prior to being carried out. Faculties are granted by the Chancellor of the Diocese. An illustration of the faculty process can be downloaded below, along with useful information on how to apply through the Online Faculty System, advice on what information to submit to support applications, frequently asked questions and a guidance sheet on submitting a good faculty.
The Church of England benefits from Ecclesiastical Exemption and is not subject to Listed Building Consent or Conservation Area Consent from the Local Planning Authority. However, it is important to remember that the Ecclesiastical Exemption does not affect the need for Planning Permission, and you may still need to submit an application to the Local Authority if changes are to be made to the outside of the building, if certain alterations or additions are to be made to the churchyard and for changes to its boundaries. Please check with your local authority directly. There is now an extended range of works which do not require a formal faculty application but please contact us for clarification, prior to carrying out the work, as some may still require written approval from the Archdeacon.
As of January 2016 the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules have changed, importantly resulting in two lists of works which can be carried out without the need for a faculty (List A), as well as a new list of uncontentious works which can be authorised by the Archdeacons without the need for a full faculty (List B). Full details of the new rules and the works which fall under the new lists can be found below.
PLEASE NOTE – As of October 2018 all applications for works to churches and churchyards in the Diocese of Gloucester, including List B works are accepted through the Online Faculty System. The Online Faculty System has been developed by the Church of England and is now used by most of Anglican dioceses in England and Wales. It is a web-based planning portal where parishes can develop proposals for new works in their church building, obtain DAC advice, record List A items, and apply for List B and Faculty. It allows parishes, DACs, Registrars, Chancellors, and Archdeacons to access information on a particular proposal quickly and efficiently in a single online space. This ensures the smooth progression of any application from beginning to end.
Although for a limited time we will be accepting paper applications there might be a delay with their processing. In order to start using the Online Faculty System and apply please register here first.
Please note that the system does not yet allow for applications for reservation of grave spaces or private petitions for memorials in churchyards; these will still require a paper application for now. The application form for the latter can be downloaded below.
If there are any queries in relation to the above, please contact us.
ChurchCare guidance on the new Faculty Rules 2015, including specialist guidance on bells, organs & trees – www.churchcare.co.uk/churches/faculty-rules-2015
Please note, many of these templates are being updated in 2018