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Faculty supporting documents

The following guidance relates to the supporting documents required as part of a faculty application via the Online Faculty System (OFS).

Before submitting a faculty application, please see the diocesan guidance on the faculty application process.

Why does the DAC ask for lots of written/drawn information?

  • Protecting: the DAC is legally required to review and assess the degree of risk to materials, or of loss to archaeological or historic remains or records, arising from parish proposals
  • Safeguarding: to fulfil this requirement, the DAC must scrutinise, in very close detail, the technical aspects of proposals (including drawings and quotes), to safeguard the PCC, the church building, and the diocese
  • Advising: not all members of the DAC will know your church, or have visited lately, so will benefit from as much contextual information (particularly photographs) that you can provide to assist in this process

Informal advice

Depending on how developed it is, when first submitted via the OFS, a faculty application will receive the informal (pre-application) advice of the Norwich Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). An informal application gives parishes the opportunity to receive feedback and guidance from the DAC on a proposal.

  • It is recommended that parishes consult their quinquennial inspector, as professional adviser to the PCC, or another suitably able professional, on the matter of commissioning and producing a plan showing the location of the proposed works, as well as sketches of the proposed designs (as below, where applicable)

 

Please provide the following supporting documents:

  1. Illustrative photographs, showing both the general setting and specific details (e.g. church interior and existing fittings)
  2. A plan or marked-up photographs showing the location of the proposed works, including (where relevant):
    • wiring routes to be created
    • areas to be redecorated
    • where items are to be introduced or removed
  3. Sketches of the proposed designs
  4. An options appraisal, for major schemes only (e.g. reorderings and extensions) (if available)
  5. Any advice or other material relating to the environmental implications of the proposal including, in the case of matters to which guidance on net zero carbon issued by the Church of England’s Church Buildings Council (CBC) applies (e.g. heating, lighting), an explanation of how the applicants, in formulating the proposal, have had ‘due regard’ to that guidance
  6. A copy of a minute of the PCC or Standing Committee in support of the proposal

When uploading information, please name each file by subject and give a description of its contents on the OFS for each file you are attaching. You can either upload all of the information in one session or you can add your information in separate sessions. Documents should be uploaded to the ‘Supporting documents and images’ tab within the application.

Statements of Significance and Need

For faculty applications relating to listed church buildings, submission of statements of significance and need is often required.

For guidance click here

For the statement of significance and needs template click here

Statement of significance

A statement of significance is a document that describes:

  • How the building has evolved over time
  • When the various parts of the building were constructed
  • And when notable additions were made to the interior (e.g. pews, pulpit, organstained glass, etc.)


It should provide a summary of why they are important and the contributions they make to the character of the building. And it should describe the impact of the changes you are proposing.

You should revisit this statement at regular intervals over the years and consider it to be a working document.

Statement of needs

A statement of needs is a document that allows you to explain your proposal having regard to your statement of significance and the impact of your proposed changes.

It should set out the reasons:

  • Why you think your needs cannot be met without making changes to your church building
  • And why you think the proposed changes are necessary to assist you in your worship and mission

Formal advice

Depending on the nature of the work proposed, a faculty application will receive the formal (statutory) advice of external bodies (e.g. Historic England and the National Amenity Societies).

As part of the online application process, you will need to provide full technical details of your proposal. These details are very important and you will need to upload a variety of supporting documents. Without them your application will not be valid and is likely to be delayed in being processed.

  • It is recommended that parishes consult their quinquennial inspector, as professional adviser to the PCC, or another suitably able professional, on the matter of commissioning and producing technical drawings and plans, as well as the associated specification (as below, where applicable)

Please provide the following supporting documents:

  1. Illustrative photographs, showing both the general setting and specific details (e.g. church interior and existing fittings)
  2. Technical drawings and plans (in accordance with the guidance below)
  3. A specification, containing full details of the materials and finishes proposed to be used, and the working methods to be adopted
  4. An up-to-date copy of a quotation from the chosen contractor/s
  5. Any advice or other material relating to the environmental implications of the proposal including, in the case of matters to which guidance on net zero carbon issued by the Church of England’s Church Buildings Council (CBC) applies (e.g. heating, lighting), an explanation of how the applicants, in formulating the proposal, have had ‘due regard’ to that guidance
  6. A copy of a resolution of the PCC (signed by the Chair or Secretary) in support of the proposal

When uploading information, please name each file by subject and give a description of its contents on the OFS for each file you are attaching. You can either upload all of the information in one session or you can add your information in separate sessions. Documents should be uploaded to the ‘Supporting documents and images’ tab within the application.

Please note that the above list of supporting documents is the minimum required and the DAC Secretary may be in contact to request further information in support of your application.

Technical drawings and plans

Plans should be drawn to a scale of 1/100 or, in the case of large buildings, 1/200, and should show the existing arrangement and the proposed (i.e. two sets are required). They should also show the location of the proposed works, including (where appropriate) wiring routes, details of areas to be redecorated, and the location into which items are to be introduced or from where they are to be removed.

It is helpful to have not just a ‘bird’s eye view’, i.e. a floor plan, but also an elevation, i.e. a view of the vertical as if you were standing in front of it. A section is a cut-through view, which is required for showing how a feature is constructed. The following should accordingly be supplied (as applicable) as supporting documents:

  • Floor plans: a plan for each floor and, where appropriate, a roof plan also, clearly distinguishing between existing and proposed work in the case of alterations or extensions
  • Elevations: showing any alterations/repairs to the existing building, or all elevations of new buildings/extensions
  • Sections: the views through the building/feature showing, for example, where entrances are proposed on sloping sites, the level of the ground in relation to the level of the building, or the thickness and profile of a proposed moulding

User manuals

The OFS has a frequently asked questions section and a number of user manuals, which can be consulted at any time.

Key user manuals, with step-by-step instructions, include: