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Care of Churches

List of Items not requiring a Faculty

Chancellor's guidance to all parochial church councils, ministers and churchwardens in the diocese as to matters not requiring a faculty (de minimis list)

General Introduction

1. The following list has been prepared after consultation with the Diocesan Advisory Committee and comprises those matters which for the time being may be undertaken without any faculty. If the list is altered at any future date the Chancellor will give fresh written guidance.

2. The list is intended to assist parochial church councils, ministers and churchwardens so that they are aware of when they can introduce or replace items or carry out work without a faculty. It is expected that they will in all cases where approval of the Archdeacon is required obtain such approval before entering into a contract for work to be carried out. Failure to do so may result in the need for a Confirmatory Faculty for which a fee can be charged.

3. If you are in doubt about any matter you should consult your Archdeacon or the Diocesan Registrar.

The following items, listed under A to G, may be carried out without a Faculty:


1. Works of minor repair identified as such in the quinquennial inspection report provided that the specification has first been agreed by the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

2. Works of routine maintenance on the fabric of the church (not materially altering its appearance) up to the value of £5,000 excluding VAT and the cost of scaffolding, providing that the Archdeacon has been notified and has given approval in writing for work costing between £1,000 and £5,000 before the contract to carry out the work is entered into. This work includes, for example, replacement like for like of broken roof tiles or slates or window glass; cleaning gutters or downpipes; and treating isolated beetle or fungal activity (except in areas where bats may be affected). It does not include repairs to broken or cracked quarries in historic stained glass, historic clear glazed windows or historic tiled floors.

3. Works of routine maintenance to heating systems, gas, water or other services, electrical fittings or other electrical equipment (by approved NICEIC electricians or CORGI registered fitters) and furniture up to the value of £5,000 excluding VAT, providing that the Archdeacon has been notified and has given approval in writing for work costing between £1,000 and £5,000 before the contract to carry out the work is entered into. No addition to an electrical system is to be made without a faculty because of the risk of jeopardising the church's insurance policy.

4. External or internal redecoration using the same colours and materials, providing those original colours and materials had been approved by faculty when first used.

5. Treatment of fixtures and furniture against beetle or fungal activity (unless bats may be affected).

6. Repair of flagpoles.

7. Work to lightning conductors by approved NICEIC or ECA contractors.

8. Repair of wire mesh window guards using non-ferrous materials.


No item may be disposed of unless the Archdeacon has been consulted and raises no objection.

1. Introduction, removal or disposal of:

  • (a) Furniture in church halls, but not items from the church kept in the hall.
  • (b) Furniture, furnishings, office equipment and minor fixtures (excluding wall safes) in vestries, but not so as to change the existing use of the room as a vestry.
  • (c) Fire extinguishers (subject to Archdeacon's instructions as to location and method of fixing).
  • (d) Hymn boards (subject to Archdeacon's instructions).
  • (e) Internal notice boards (subject to Archdeacon's instructions).
  • (f) Small movable bookcases or display stands.

2. Replacement of carpets or curtains with the equivalent of similar colour, material, pattern and type of backing. (The carpeting of additional areas is not included.)

3. Additions in an existing style to name boards (excluding war memorials).

4. The use of a security system recommended by insurers for marking movable items kept in the church.


1. Introduction, storage or removal of musical instruments and stands used by music groups.

2. Routine tuning and adjustment, by a qualified person, up to a value of £1,500 excluding VAT, of organs, harmoniums and pianos.

3. Maintenance and repairs to pianos using matching materials.


1. Inspection and routine maintenance of bells, bell frames, clocks and clock faces.

2. Replacement of damaged wooden bell stays and bell ropes.


No item may be disposed of unless the Archdeacon has been consulted and raises no objection.

Introduction, removal, replacement or disposal of:

1. Kneelers, hassocks and cushions (but not a substantial replacement of them).

2. Surplices, albs, cassocks, choir robes and vergers' robes.

3. Cruets.

4. Vases.

5. Service books authorised by Canon.

6. Bibles, hymn books, song books and sheet or bound music (but not disposal of handbound or other valuable books).

7. Altar linen (but not frontals or falls).

8. Decorative flags and banners used for temporary displays.

9. The Union flag, St. George's flag or the Diocesan flag.


1. Installation of security locks on doors and/or windows when the Archdeacon is satisfied that they are urgently required and the type of lock has been approved by him/her in writing.

2. Installation of security lighting or camera(s) on a temporary basis where there is urgent need to protect the building against burglary or vandalism pending the grant of a faculty for a permanent scheme provided the temporary arrangement is approved in writing by the Archdeacon and the Diocesan Registrar is notified by the Archdeacon that he/she has given approval.


1. Purchase and maintenance of lawnmowers and other churchyard equipment.

2. Routine repair of paths including resurfacing in the same material and colour.

3. Repairs to and repainting in the same colour of a notice board.

4. Minor repairs to fences and gates (but not walls).


Where the proposal is of a similarly minor nature, but does not appear in the above list, the Chancellor may be willing to dispense with a faculty, sometimes subject to conditions such as consultation with the Diocesan Advisory Committee. The Chancellor's decision will normally be based upon a letter, to be sent to the Registrar, giving all relevant information about the proposal.


1. A faculty is not required for the deposit of parochial registers or other parochial records in the Diocesan record office, nor for the obtaining of new registers.

2. Repairs, acquisitions and the disposal of articles in the list should be recorded in the church log book.

3. In the case of works involving expenditure of more than approximately £1,500 it will normally be appropriate to consult the church's inspecting architect and this is advisable in all but extremely minor cases.

Sunday 19 September 2004

Charles George