Faculty application process

A faculty is often required for any work affecting consecrated land or buildings.

Faculty applications are governed by the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015, as amended by The Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019.

To find out what type of work can be permitted without the need for a formal faculty, please review Lists A and B from 1 April 2020

In addition to this, the Chancellor for the Diocese has issued the following Additional Matters Orders:

  1. Regarding the Broadcasting of Services CONSISTORY NOR AMO 05.11.20.
  2. Regarding the installation of Covid-19 Memorial plaques CONSISTORY NOR AMO 27.07.2022
  3. Regarding the transfer of parish library to Norwich Cathedral CONSISTORY NOR AMO 14.11.2022
  4. Regarding car parking contracts CONSISTORY NOR AMO 16.05.2023
  5. Regarding Info Point and similar devices CONSISTORY NOR AMO 13.06.2023
  6. Regarding Commonwealth War Graves signs CONSISTORY NOR AMO 13.09.2023

Applicants are required to discuss a proposed faculty application with the DAC Secretary before the application is submitted. The applicants can then make sure that all of the information which the DAC is likely to require is submitted with the application, and this will help to minimise any delays in dealing with the proposals.

As well as consulting the DAC Secretary, the PCC is recommended to consult an architect at an early stage if any works are proposed to the fabric of the church. This may be the architect appointed to undertake the quinquennial inspection of the church (who must be on the DAC’s list of architects who are approved to undertake such inspections) or it may be any other architect – the PCC is not limited to using only an architect who is on the approved list for new projects. However, there may be some merit in taking advice from the architect who carried out the most recent quinquennial inspection of the building, as they should be familiar with the building and any structural or other particular issues which may be relevant to the project. Taking advice early on in the project can save much trouble and expense later on.

Applications should be made on the Online Faculty System accompanied by the necessary supporting information. If in doubt about what information may be needed, consult first with the DAC Secretary. The information required is likely to include the following, as well as the information listed at section 4.2 of the FJR 2015:

  • The PCC resolution and architect’s advice in writing.
  • For Building Repairs or Additions  the architect’s specification and drawings. These should be professionally prepared, to scale, and give a clear indication of the extent and likely effect of the works proposed
  • For Heating, Plumbing and/or Electrical works the architect’s or contractor’s specification and drawings and/or annotated photographs which show the effect of the work. The route of any new pipes or cabling and the manner in which these will be affixed should be clearly shown.
  • If the work involves alterations or repairs to specific parts of the fabric or furnishings, such as bells, woodwork, windows or glazing, textiles and so on, guidance should be sought from the DAC Secretary on whether a specialist report should be submitted with the application.
  • For Organs  details of the history and specification of the existing organ, of any replacement or work to be done.
  • For Memorials  a scale drawing, precise wording and a sample of lettering, together with a history of the person/s to be remembered in the memorial. (If the proposal is for an internal memorial the application may be in the form of an informal enquiry in the first instance).
  • For churchyard alterations a list and plan of the gravestones affected.
  • For disposal of articles by sale  good quality photographs of the item(s), details of their provenance and a professional valuation.
  • For any major proposal or proposals affecting buildings or items of particular significance, the comments of relevant consultees. These will include the Amenity Societies, and possibly the local Planning Authority. It is important that this consultation should take place before the DAC considers the proposals, so that the DAC can consider all the relevant advice from the consultees. If consultation is left until a later stage, it may be too late to incorporate the consultees’ views into the decision making process easily, leading to frustration and delay for the parish, and potentially the parish having to amend their proposals. Under Schedule 2, FJR 2015 it is now a requirement for many applications that consultations should be completed and submitted to the DAC at the outset.  It may be worth noting that, with sufficiently sympathetic detail, replacing a stolen lead roof with terne-coated stainless steel does not require planning permission.
  • For Heritage Lottery Fund grant aided work a copy of the contract and the relevant architect’s report.
  • The church insurers’ approval in writing.
  • A Statement of Significance and a Statement of Need is required under the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules, Section 4.4

Click on the following for further information:

Once the DAC has considered a faculty application, a Notification of the DAC’s Advice will be issued to the applicants. The DAC’s Advice will state one of the following:

(a)   that the DAC recommends the works or proposals for approval by the court;
(b)   that the DAC does not recommend the works or proposals for approval by the court; or
(c)   that the DAC does not object to the works or proposals being approved by the court.

Applicants should note that this Advice does not constitute formal approval to proceed with any works. It is intended to provide advice to the Chancellor or the relevant Archdeacon when they in turn consider the formal faculty petition.

Applicants will then be invited by the Online Faculty System to complete the Petition and submit the application to the Registrar for consideration by the Chancellor.  They will also need to provide a Resolution from the PCC confirming their consent to the proposed works, as requested within the Petition.  All consultations that have been advised by the DAC will have to have been completed by this point.  Public Notices have to be displayed for 28 days inside and outside the church, and then the Certificate of Public Notice can be completed.  The Faculty can not be issued if the Public Notice Certificate is outstanding.

Notice of many applications should also be given on the Diocesan website, and the timing of this notification will need to be synchronised with that of the public notices displayed at the church.

Any comments arising from the public notices are submitted to the Diocesan Registrar, who will notify the applicants and then submit the comments with the application to the Chancellor for a decision to be made. The faculty can then be issued, subject to the Chancellor’s views, and the works can be undertaken.  The Chancellor may stipulate conditions on how the works are carried out, particularly if any potential issues have been commented on by the consultees or DAC.

When the works have been completed, a Certificate of Practical Completion needs to be submitted and this will also close the application on the Online Faculty System.