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DAC and Faculties

The Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (or DAC) exists to enable parishes to care for and develop their church buildings.

The DACs primary function is to provide informal advice to parishes and make formal recommendations to the Chancellor about faculty applications.

Members of the DAC have a wide range of knowledge in a variety of specialist fields including church architecture, bells, furnishings, art, archaeology, heating, furniture, stained glass, etc. As a body it makes recommendations to the Chancellor on faculty applications. The Committee includes clergy, architects and a range of other specialists in the maintenance and development of church buildings.

As well as reviewing applications, the DAC may occasionally visit a particular church. This helps it understand complex or unusual proposals, and allows for informal discussion with the parish at an early stage. This often helps the parish to develop a scheme in line with best practice and avoid unnecessary expense.

Online Faculty System

The DAC endeavours to respond promptly to all applications for advice.

As the nature and complexity of proposals vary widely, advice can be given about some applications more quickly than others. This may become evident when other official bodies (e.g. English Heritage, the local authority) need to be consulted about proposals.

If you are considering applying for a Faculty you should contact the DAC Secretary at the earliest opportunity with your proposals. Do this well before any decisions are made on the work you hope to carry out. The Committee normally offers informal advice before detailed proposals are submitted. Professional advisers Parishes should also engage professional advisers - such as architects or other consultants - at the earliest opportunity. Initial discussion which includes parish, professional advisers and the DAC will often save time and unnecessary expense in the long term.

To apply for a Faculty, use the Online Faculty System. You will need to register which enables you to log in and follow the progress of your application.

The Online Faculty System is web based and designed to provide an electronic system for making and tracking applications right through the process, from seeking initial advice from DAC to receiving the Faculty from the Chancellor. You will be able to

  • Make an application for DAC advice
  • Check whether the works come under the A List and does not require a Faculty or the B List which requires permission from an Archdeacon with DAC advice
  • Apply for a Faculty
  • Upload documents to support your application
  • Review progress and receive updates on the application via email
  • Receive formal advice from the DAC electronically
  • Use the system to prepare your Public Notices and to submit the petition to the Chancellor
  • Direct contact from the Registrar informing you of the decision.

The views of the DAC will be given in the form of a certificate stating whether the Committee Recommends, or has No Objection, or does Not Recommend the work.

A Seven-Step Guide To The Faculty Process

Step 1 - Parish checks whether a faculty application will be necessary for the proposed works
Most work to a church building or churchyard requires the parish to submit a faculty application but there are other routes depending on the nature of the particular work being proposed.

Step 2 - Parish requests informal advice
This step is optional but parishes normally find it helpful to obtain informal advice from the DAC at an early stage. This helps you get the work on the right track before you spend time and money working up the detail. You should provide clear details of what you are proposing and why you are proposing it. This should include:

  • a clear explanation of why you're proposing the work
  • photographs of areas concerned (including wider context photos) and
  • outline sketches (if appropriate).

For major schemes you should also provide a Statement of Need in line with published guidance. It's normally helpful for you to engage your church architect at an early stage. The DAC may offer a site visit if they feel the proposals require on-site discussion.

Step 3 - Parish requests formal advice
You are required to submit your proposal. Your application must be accompanied by a full set of definitive supporting information including the outcome of any necessary consultations. The DAC reviews applications at its monthly meeting.

Step 4 - Parish receives DAC response to their application
The DAC aims to provide a written response to each application, normally within 12 working days of the relevant DAC meeting. The DAC may require additional information from the parish or a change in the proposed specification of the work - in this case the parish will receive an explanatory letter or email. If the DAC is able to make a definitive recommendation at the meeting, the DAC Office will send the relevant documentation to the parish, including public notices.

Step 5 - Parish displays public notices for 28 days
The parish must display the public notices in order to allow church members and other interested parties the opportunity to consider the proposals and to raise any objections with the Diocesan Registrar.

Step 6 - Parish submits papers to Diocesan Registrar
On completion of Step 5, the parish confirms in writing the display of the Notices to the Diocesan Registrar.

Step 7 - Final decision on faculty application
The Diocesan Chancellor (or, in certain circumstances, the Archdeacon) decides whether or not to issue a faculty, taking into account any representations from the public, statutory consultees or other interest groups. The Diocesan Registrar informs the parish accordingly. Additional procedures may be invoked if there are any significant objections to the proposals. Only on receipt of the issued faculty from the Registrar can the parish legally proceed with the works.

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