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Faculty Permission (DAC formal advice - Notification of Advice application)

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Jun, 2020 02:18 PM

Updated Listing = latest updates


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Significant changes
What happens next? 
Determining a Faculty


1. Before you can petition (apply) for faculty you will need to obtain the DAC's formal advice about proposals.  

Please note, the FACULTY JURISDICTION RULES 2015 came into effect on 1 January 2016.  The DAC's formal advice (1st stage of faculty procedure) is given on a document named "Notification of Advice".

When applying for a DAC 'Notification of Advice' it is  IMPORTANT that you read the  'APPLICATION NOTES - WITH APPENDIX'  (below ) before making your application.  APPLICATIONS CANNOT BE PROCESSED UNLESS THEY ARE COMPLETE - please contact the DAC office if you  are unsure about the papers required with your application 01722 438654 /

Application papers for the "Notification of Advice" are available from the DAC Office or they can be downloaded here. Please note:  there are two versions of each form - one for completion electronically (but submission in hard copy please) and the other for completion by hand: 

The ‘Architect’s or Surveyor’s Advice’ form should be completed by the person who carried out the quinquennial inspection of the church as it gives  him/her the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

Referring casework to the Amenity Societies:-  All consultation requests (both formal ones and pre-application) should now be sent directly to the JOINT COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL AMENITY SOCIETIES (JCNAS) at   making it very clear whether it is a formal consultation or a request for pre-application advice, with a deadline when response is required.  If you know the relevant caseworkers, they will appreciate being told that the application is on its way, but please send the consultation to the joint email address.  This JCNAS email address will allow the consultations to be seen by all of the big 6 national amenity societies (the SPAB, the Victorian Society, the 20th Century Society, the Georgian Group, the Ancient Monuments Society and the Council for British Archaeology). 

It does not include Historic England and the Church Buildings Council.  Each request is passed on to the caseworkers at the societies relevant to the consultation.

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All PCCs are stongly encouraged to draw up a Statement of Signficance for their church, and then a final paragraph/section relating to specific proposals  can be  added when faculty is required

If significant changes are proposed to a listed church,

Parishes will need to consult with the Church Buildings Council when an application concerns an existing article of particular historic, archaeological, architectural or artistic interest and directly involves conservation, alteration or permanent disposal of that item.

The view of consultees and any planning permission needed should be obtained before an application for a 'Notification of Advice' is submitted to the DAC.

Reference the checklist, there  is guidance about CDM Regulations here, and on the Churchcare pages.


 The DAC meets ten times per years, on a monthly basis (except during the Easter periodand August), when applications for advice are considered.  A list of meeting dates is available above (please note agenda closing dates). Most applications are commended without delay.  Occasionally, the committee might have some concerns about an application or ask for more information.  It will then be necessary to delay the issue of a certificate or defer the application to the next meeting to give you time to obtain further details or address concerns. The DAC secretary will contact you if this happens.

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What happens next?

When a 'Notification of Advice' is issued, it is tagged to the application form and supporting papers and returned to you with the petition for faculty, public notices and notes about how to proceed from this point.  The main part of the DAC’s work is then done. 

The 'Notification of Advice' and supporting papers must be included with the petition when it is sent to the Diocesan Registry.  The Diocesan Registry will process the petition and forward it to the Diocesan Chancellor or Archdeacon for a decision (please see ‘Determining a faculty’ below)

In most cases the DAC will either recommend or raise no objection to the proposals, but if it reaches the decision that it is unable to recommend the work you are still entitled to apply to the Chancellor for a faculty.

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Determining a faculty

In cases where the church is listed, a chancellor who is determining a faculty matter (contested or otherwise) in relation to internal re-ordering will consider a number of factors within the following framework:  

1.    Would the proposals, if implemented, result in harm to the significance of the church as a building of special architectural or historic interest?

2.    If the answer to question (1) is ‘no’, the ordinary presumption in faculty proceedings “in favour of things as they stand” is applicable, and can be rebutted more or less readily, depending on the particular nature of the proposals.

3.    If the answer to question (1) is ‘yes’, how serious would the harm be?

4.    How clear and convincing is the justification for carrying out the proposals?

5.    Bearing in mind that there is a strong presumption against proposals which will adversely affect the special character of a listed building, will any resulting public benefit (including matters such as liturgical freedom, pastoral well-being, opportunities for mission, and putting the church to viable uses that are consistent with its role as a place of worship and mission) outweigh the harm?

In answering question (5), the more serious the harm, the greater will be the level of benefit needed before the proposals should be permitted. This will particularly be the case if the harm is to a building which is listed Grade l or 2*, where serious harm should only exceptionally be allowed”.

 ref Duffield (2012) 14 Ecc LJ461

(see the Updated Listing Churchcare pages for more)

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