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The Care of Church Buildings (DAC)

Keeping our church buildings safe during the coronavirus pandemic

Our churches are currently closed however it is important that we keep our buildings safe. Please read this document on caring for church buildings during this difficult time.


The Church has ‘Ecclesiastical Exemption’ from some secular building control (listed building consent, for example) as it has its own method of control called Faculty Jurisdiction. PCCs need to seek permission for most work on their church building and this is sought via the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC’s guiding principle is to recognise church buildings first and foremost as centres for mission and ministry. It exists to help.


  • James Halsall, DAC Secretary, 01473 298533, Email
  • Charlotte Hodgson, Assistant DAC Secretary, 01473 298533, Email
  • James Hall, Diocesan Registrar
  • Angela Long, Registry Clerk, 01473 406300


The DAC’s members are specialists in a wide range of subjects. They are happy to assist PCCs and may be contacted via James or Charlotte. The DAC meets eleven times a year. You can apply for a faculty by visiting the online faculty portal, alternatively you can access all application forms below. The DAC has a range of GUIDANCE NOTES for PCCs to use. The list will expand in time and will be updated when necessary. 

At some stage the PCC will have to consider appointing an architect or surveyor. At the very least every five years an inspection has to be carried out (the quinquennial inspection) and PCCs will have to choose someone from our approved list to undertake the inspection. Repairs following the inspection should be overseen by an architect or surveyor - ideally the one who carried out the inspection. 

Public notices need to be displayed as part of the faculty process. Works that are likely to significantly affect a listed church need to be displayed on the diocesan website. These can be seen on the link below.

DAC Application Forms

From the 1st January 2016 important changes have been made to the system which means PCCs won't need to apply for a faculty in many cases.

Minor work that doesn't require any permission is in List A. Work that requires the archdeacon's approval is in List B. All other work requires a faculty.

List A and List B | PDF

To apply for List B work please use this form | DOCX

The List B process is straightforward but cases may have to be referred to a DAC adviser or a DAC meeting so please factor this into your planning.

Faculty applications can be completed online at the online faculty portal or, alternatively, forms can be obtained from the diocesan office or downloaded from the links below. Help in completing the forms is available from James Halsall the DAC Secretary. From 1st January 2017 the cost of a faculty application is £200. Cheques should be payable to Birketts LLP and submitted with the faculty application.

Please note there is a separate form for the reservation of a grave space. Information is included in the notes on where to return the completed form.

The Standard Information Form only needs to be completed once (unless details change) and submitted to the Diocesan Office. We'll then keep hold of it and add it to all future faculty applications saving you the job of filling it in.

Standard Information Form | PDF

Faculty Permission Form | PDF

Notes for Completion of Grave Space Reservation Form | Word

Application form for the introduction of a memorial in a churchyard | PDF

Introduction of a memorial completion notes | PDF

Headstone certificate of compliance | PDF

Guidance notes on Statements of Need and Significance | PDF


Insurance Updates

Autumn 2018

Over the past 12 months Anna Hughes, Diocesan Secretary and James Halsall, DAC secretary have met representatives of Ecclesiastical and Trinitas insurance companies.

  • Ecclesiastical has agreed to reduce premiums by a maximum of 25% for PCCs within the diocese.
  • Trinitas continues to offer competitive policies and have increased their market share within the diocese with 64 churches now insured.

Ecclesiastical has encouraged PCCs to change from Parish Guard to Parish Plus policies at renewal. Parish Plus combines the sums insured for buildings and contents together (which will make comparisons with competitors difficult in the future) and has resulted in a programme of revaluations although Ecclesiastical have said they will limit resultant increases in premium to 5%. However, Parish Plus does require 100% cover and so if this is not wanted by PCCs they must discuss this with Ecclesiastical or seek alternative cover.

Questions have been raised when comparing the cover offered by the EIG and that of Trinitas since it seems in many cases Trinitas undercuts EIG by some margin. The C of E’s Parish Buying organisation has undertaken a comparison of two EIG products, Parish Guard and Parish Plus, with Trinitas’s Parish Care policy. This is attached.

PCC Survey

This summer’s questionnaire to Treasurers offered some interesting facts: Out of the 246 respondents:

  • 183 did not seek alternative quotes
  • 158 have 100% cover on the building
  • 206 have an excess of less than £500.

Our guidance to PCCs remains the same. This is to seek at least two quotes and review the excess (many excesses are particularly low e.g. less than £500) and the percentage of the sum insured (is 100% necessary?).  One option which many benefices may wish to explore is asking insurers to quote for all the PCCs in a benefice.  This may result in a cost saving and certainly ease the paperwork at renewal time.

  • Public Notices (Rule 8.9 Notices)-+

    Following the introduction of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules, PCCs no longer have to publish notices in a local newspaper when significant works affecting listed churches are concerned. Instead, under rule 8.9, public notices are to be displayed on the diocesan website with a deadline by which representations should be sent to the Diocesan Registrar, 20-32 Museum Street, Ipswich, IP1 1HZ.

    Works deemed to fall into the following categories will have notices displayed on this page:

    1. Work involving alteration to or the extension of a grade I or II* listed church to such an extent as would be likely to affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest
    2. Work involving alteration to or the extension of a grade II listed church to such an extent as both to affect its exterior and affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest; or
    3. Work involving demolition affecting the exterior of an unlisted building in a conservation area.

    The notice will appear as a link below with a date 28 days after its posting.