Filming in churches

Churches are popular film locations and hosting a Production House comes with many positives such as: 

  • It can be a mission opportunity
  • It can be a boost for your community 
  • It can bring the church into the public eye  
  • It can encourage the public to come and visit 
  • It can be a useful source of additional income 

However, there are potential pitfalls to avoid, including the risk of unfavourable publicity, damage to the fabric and furnishings, and other risks such as copyright violation.  

There are a few essential steps you can take to ensure it is a beneficial experience for both parties, and to avoid risk. 

Getting started  

  • Do your homework and be clear ahead of time what associated subject matter you will allow when your premises are depicted. (For example, Channel 4 with its brief to be innovative and experimental is, broadly speaking, more likely to transmit more challenging material than BBC1.)
  • Don’t be shy of asking for clear information on content. Requesting a written synopsis would be appropriate. This will give you an overview of the finished programme, and allow you to judge whether it is beneficial or harmful to the Church. 
  • Permission from your Archdeacon will almost always be needed 
  • Make sure the regulatory fire precautions are in place.  
  • It is desirable to have a written risk assessment taking account of all equipment, sets, facilities, special effects etc. 
  • The last thing you want is the parish to be sued, the second last thing is to have to sue someone else. 
  • You must insist that the PCC is indemnified and insured against damage or accident. The church insurance policy may not cover this. 


  • Filming of a church or any other building from outside the site boundaries requires no permission. Pictures of buildings are not subject to copyright either. 

  • If fixed items need to be moved you are likely to need a faculty. Minor temporary changes may be able to be authorised by your Archdeacon. If a faculty is needed, or if in doubt, please contact the Archdeacon and/or the Parish Support Team on 

  • For information about filming consent and GDPR please click here


The scale of fees you charge will be determined to some extent by the category. Daily news items are unlikely to be subject to any fee, but they have the benefit of drawing attention to the church on prime-time television. You are also likely not to want to charge to broadcast a service. But for commercial contracts you should always think commercially and be prepared to charge the going rate. 

Publicise your church as a filming location 

  • Take good quality photos of possible locations and upload them to your website.  

  • The ‘Creative England’ website has lots of advice. Click here to register your church as a location, so that location scouts can find you easily. 

  • There are numerous other location finding companies. Some are free, others charge for inclusion. 

Location Partnership 

Shoot Factory 

Amazing Space 

Film Locations 

Other considerations 

  • Think where to park vehicles 

  • Ensure you comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 

These guidelines are not comprehensive, and may not fit all occasions. If in doubt consult the Diocesan Communications Team

Contact the Communications Team

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