Arriving easily at our destination – the Route B way

Author: James Tulley

Published on: 8 March 2019

Every time I raise the issue of repairs to the church with my PCC, you see their eyes roll and hear mutterings along the lines of “not another faculty – it’ll be years before we get anything done”.

It is true that dealing with a Grade I Listed building is not an easy matter – what with architects, builders, the Diocesan Advisory Committee and numerous other interested parties to deal with. Almost inevitably you will need to get some type of permission and woe betide the PCC that doesn’t!

Recently, however, things have become considerably easier and my burden as Churchwarden cum Fabric Officer has been markedly eased. Firstly, the ability to deal with the bulk of the process online means that the volumes of paperwork are automated (and some parts such as the Statement of Significance can be cut and pasted from previous applications). Secondly, recent changes to the system mean that so much more can be dealt with via a Route B application, which can be carried out with the approval of your Archdeacon. The Archdeacon will liaise with the DAC Secretary, but this is a speedy and simple process, enabling parishes to get on with important work without delay and avoiding the need for a faculty. Generally speaking, the items that make up List B tend to cover repairs rather than alterations.

Here in Antingham we have recently agreed a significant package of work to address our QIR. My immediate thought was that this would require a faculty. A quick call to the DAC office to discuss my plans is something I always do; indeed, I would go so far as to say it’s essential. In this case the answer was to the effect of “it may not require a faculty – set out the details of your proposals and we’ll let you know”. I initiated the process online and attached my key documents. Within 24 hours Matthew hadchecked through my proposals, determined that a faculty wasn’t needed and passed them to the Archdeacon for his agreement. I was astonished to receive approval from the Archdeacon within minutes, although this may have had something to do with his imminent retirement rather than my persuasive arguments! Nevertheless, and notwithstanding your Archdeacon’s enthusiasm for church repairs, it really is so much simpler and quicker to get things done online. The process is interactive, asking you a number of questions about the work you are planning and helps you determine whether a Faculty or Route B application is needed. It will also lead you through all the requisite documentation that you need to produce. What can I say: it works, and it works well!

The author...

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James Tulley

Churchwarden, Antingham (Parish)

The Hill, Antingham
North Walsham
NR28 0NH

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