Applying for permission for work to church buildings or in churchyards.
The Online Faculty System (OFS)
The Diocese of Leeds uses the Online Faculty System and all faculty applications must be completed online. Please follow these links to register for the Online Faculty System; instructions on how to register; the online training manual; and Frequently Asked Questions about the online faculty system. The DAC team needs to approve your application, which will normally be done the same or next working day. Please do contact us if you need any help in registering.
Full faculty applications
Anything not covered by the following paragraphs will need a faculty. Applying for a faculty can be a daunting task, particularly if you have never submitted one before. The DAC team are always on hand to offer support and advice, and please do contact us by phone or e-mail if you have questions. See also our guidance notes available to download. For reordering or other significant changes to the church building, we may be willing to arrange a site visit, but this is not possible for all applications.
The DAC’s full committee meets eight times a year to discuss faculty applications (see the dates and deadlines page).
Since November 2019, there is an arrangement whereby the Notification of Advice on simpler and uncontentious faculty applications may be issued by the DAC Secretary after consultation with the relevant Archdeacon and DAC members or advisers but without it going to the full Committee. This will speed up the process by up to several weeks in those cases, as applicants will not need to wait for a DAC meeting.
Please see the relevant guidance notes (Guidance Note 8 – Delegation, and Instrument of Delegation) for a fuller explanation of how the system of delegation works.
List B Applications
Items on List B will require permission from your Archdeacon after consultation with the DAC. This list will be expanded from April 2020. Most of the Archdeacons now prefer List B applications through the Online Faculty System although the Archdeacons of Bradford and Pontefract will also accept applications by email.
Temporary Minor Reordering
Archdeacons can give permission for a maximum of 15 months (to be increased to 24 months from April 2020) for changes to the furnishings and movable objects within a church building where it is not appropriate to seek a faculty for permanent changes initially (e.g. to experiment with having fewer or differently arranged pews, or to introduce an item that has been donated to the church to see whether the PCC wishes to accept it permanently). These TMR applications should also now be made using the Online Faculty System. Please contact your Archdeacon for initial advice in advance of making a formal application.
If you have a listed building, the faculty system means you don’t also need Listed Building Consent from your local council. It also replaces the need for Conservation Area Consent as far as the church building is concerned.
You may, however, need other forms of permission from your local authority (or the National Park Authority where applicable), such as planning permission for changes to the outside of the building, advertisement consent for external notice boards or illuminated signs, or work to protected trees. Drainage works may need permission from the Environment Agency. The DAC team will be able to offer further guidance on this.
The DAC does not offer specific training sessions on the Online Faculty System and Chancellor's Directions at the moment. However, each year one of the DAC team attends each of the Archdeacons’ training events for Churchwardens to offer a brief presentation. Please contact your Archdeacon's office if you wish to book a place on those training events. And you are most welcome to phone us any time during office hours for specific advice.
The guidance notes page includes several relevant downloads to help you develop your project and apply for relevant permissions.