A Guide to faculty applications
A faculty is required for most repairs, maintenance and changes to a church building or its contents. You should always check before carrying out works whether a faculty is required as it is a legal requirement and works should not be undertaken before a faculty has been granted.
Generally, applications for a faculty are made by the incumbent and churchwardens on behalf of the PCC. Private petitions are allowed as well, typically for gravestones or monuments.
The decision to grant a faculty is made by the Chancellor of the diocese, or in some more routine cases by the archdeacon, acting on the advice of the DAC. Applications should be made in the first instance through the Ely Diocesan Church Buildings team, except for grave space reservation and exhumations, which should be referred direct to the Registrar.
The cost of a faculty is met by the diocese, except for private petitions and those made by a parish retrospectively, ie to seek permission for works already carried out.
The Church Buildings team will be able to advise if a faculty is required as some minor items do not need one.
Using the faculty process
If you are looking to apply for a faculty then you will need to complete an amount of formal paperwork and submit plans, specifications and photographs to explain the works proposed.
You will usually need to consult your church architect for advice and have a resolution from the PCC in place. These are then examined by the DAC who will make a formal recommendation to the Chancellor. The Chancellor places great weight on the DAC's advice.
- You can view a simple overview of the faculty process here.
- A more detailed guide of how to obtain DAC advice and apply for a faculty can be viewed here.
- We prefer to receive faculty applications through the online portal here.
- A simple guide to the use of the portal can be viewed here.
Successful applications need to be thought through, properly costed and affordable and justifiable according to the worship and mission of the church. Early contact with the DAC can help make it easier to use the faculty process and balance heritage and mission needs.
A parish should not begin any works or enter into any arrangements for which they are seeking a faculty until they receive the faculty from the Registrar.