Church buildings


Church buildings

Welcome to the Church Buildings Department of the Diocese of Ely. We are here to help support, advise and guide parishes on all matters relating to the care, maintenance, repair and development of their churches and other parochial buildings.

Together with the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC), we strive to maintain a proper balance between the requirements of caring for the historical and archaeological significance of these precious buildings, and recognising that churches are living places of worship and mission with a need to adapt and become fit for purpose in the 21st century.

We are committed to enabling parishes realise the potential of their buildings so that they can be reimagined in line with the Diocesan strategy for growth, Ely 2025.

The Diocese of Ely is blessed with 334 churches, each of which represents the presence of the Church of England in every community in the country and is a testament to the lives of the many thousands of people who have worshiped, celebrated and sought solace and comfort there. The care and maintenance of these extraordinary buildings - 43% of which are Grade I listed and 40% Grade II*[1] in our Diocese - is a challenge faced by clergy and congregations alike.

The management of all consecrated buildings and burial grounds falls outside the secular listed building regime by what is termed as the 'ecclesiastical exemption'. Instead, they are subject to the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015, which means that permission - either a Faculty, an Archdeacon's Authorisation under 'List B', or an Archdeacon's Licence - will be required for almost any change or work to be done to or affecting a church building, its contents or churchyard.

This system is in place to ensure that churches are properly cared for and that whatever work is undertaken is properly considered and undertaken in the most appropriate way.

The kind of permission required will depend on the kind of work to be done. In all cases, please contact the Church Buildings Department at an early stage to discuss your case and proposals so that we can guide and support you through the process, and work towards a positive outcome. We can also provide you with support and guidance as to applying for grants and funding for your works.

Further information about the Church Buildings Department, the DAC, the work that we do and the help we can offer can be found  in this section of the website.


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We pray to be generous and visible people of Jesus Christ

Ely Diocesan Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 142183, and a charity registered in England and Wales with Charity Number 245456. The registered address is: Diocesan Office, Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4DX. All rights reserved.