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Care of Churches

How to apply

An outline of the procedure that should be followed when applying for a faculty in the Diocese of Southwark.

1. Is a faculty needed?

2. Prepare full details of the proposed work (in consultation with your architect or other professional advisers):

  • specification
  • drawings
  • photographs
  • statement explaining why the work needs to be carried out (the 'statement of need')
  • 'statement of significance' of building (for work to listed buildings)
  • guidelines for statements of need and significance can be downloaded from
  • supporting statement from parish architect (if appropriate)
  • any other documentation that helps to explain the proposed work. Please assume that the person looking at your proposals has no previous knowledge of your church.
  • from 1 January 2014, the submission to the DAC must be accompanied by a 'standard information form' (Form 1A). This will provide factual information about the church and its curtilage, independent of the specific faculty application, (as previously contained in the first few pages of the petition form sent to you after DAC consultation). The DAC office will make this easier for you by sending you a version with as much relevant information as it already has, for you to confirm or amend. Once completed, the form will be retained by the DAC and so will not need to be submitted for each application if the information is unchanged.

3. Consult other interested parties (for works to listed buildings, early consultation is essential) (e.g. English Heritage, local authority, Victorian Society, etc.) and obtain letter of support (if possible). If proposals include demolition of part of a building contact the Diocesan Registry for advice on additional consultation and notification that may be required.

4. Obtain PCC resolution for work (not strictly required until step 8, but preferable at this stage).

5. Send all details to the DAC for consideration at least two weeks before the next meeting (dates of DAC Meetings) and keep your Archdeacon informed. Your Archdeacon will speak on the parish's behalf at the DAC meeting.  Simpler matters or building repairs under £10,000 may be dealt with by sub-committee rather than at a DAC meeting in which case the application will be dealt with as soon as possible and we will advise you of the procedure being followed in each case.

As far as possible we now issue documents to DAC advisers by e-mail.  So it makes things easier and quicker if you can submit your application that way, but any drawings with an original size greater than A3 should also be supplied in paper form (three copies unless agreed otherwise) as we cannot print larger than A3.  Please also note that:

  1. the maximum size of attachments to any one message should not exceed 10MB or there may be problems receiving it; so if necessary break it down into more than one message.
  2. we can deal with drawings as PDF or DWG files but not DXF or other CAD formats. 
  3. digital photos are only used for on-screen viewing and small prints: a size of around 1200x900 pixels with a JPEG compression ratio of 85% will give adequate results.  Avoid using "high resolution" images that may give unnecessarily large files. 
  4. important information defining the scope of the project should be sent as separate messages/documents and not “buried” in a string of e-mail correspondence, to ensure that all relevant facts can be concisely put together for the faculty petition.

Submissions should normally be sent in by the Clergy or Churchwardens of the parish; if we receive an application direct from an architect or anyone else we will check with the incumbent that the PCC has authorised this.

The Pastoral Department will acknowledge receipt of papers within a few days – do contact us if you have not had a response one week after posting.

6. Wait for next DAC meeting (normally second Tuesday of month except August) or for response from sub-committee.

7. DAC sends notification of advice, faculty petition form and other documents back to parish - don't start work yet!

8. Complete the faculty petition and send to the Registry as soon as possible. Affix completed Public Notice to church door/notice board. Works that require consultation with English Heritage and other bodies must also be advertised on the diocesan website. This is arranged via the DAC office.

9. After 28 days, return completed Public Notice to the Registry.

10. Chancellor grants Faculty (usually!).

11. Now you can start the work!

12. On completion of work, return Certificate of Completion to the Registry.

If in doubt, ask - see section 1 above.