Getting Started Guide

Before starting a building project, you will need to:

  • Know what your vision is for the building project (Full refurbishment, Internal reordering, Extension, Ancillary building?).

  • Start with the end in mind - even if you don't know how you're going to get there.

  • That bigger projects can be approached in phases as the money becomes available.


Key spaces to consider

  • Coffee bars

  • Toilets, access

  • Prayer rooms/meeting space

  • The vexed question of pews!

  • Carpet/floor finishes

  • Storage

  • Break-out spaces

  • Office space

  • Outreach

  • Youth

  • Children

First steps

  • Form your project subcommittee.

  • Appoint your architect (when relevant this should go to tender).

  • Produce your design drawings – these are the ones to be used for planning.

  • Appoint your Contractor.


Planning phase

  • Decide between the Local Planning Authority Vs DAC.

  • You will need a Faculty for almost everything.

    1.   List A and B.

  • The DAC is your friend.

    1.  Ecclesiastical Exemption.

The Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC)

  • Advises the Chancellor of the Diocese.

  • Includes specialist advisors on technical, artistic and historical matters.

  • Clergy members advise on how proposals will affect the mission and ministry of the parish.

  • Archdeacons can represent the view of parishes at DAC meetings.

4 ways to make change

Things you can do without permission
List A

  • Routine repairs

  • Replacement ‘like for like’

  • Simple tree works

  • Pest control etc.

Things you can do with Archdeacon’s written permission
List B

•Routine repairs

•Replacement ‘like for like’

•Simple tree works

•Pest control etc.

Things you can do under an Archdeacon’s licence for temporary minor re-ordering
Archdeacon’s License - Temporary Remodelling Order (TRO)

  • Any works must be ‘reversible’.

  • Signed off by the Archdeacon (PCC support).

  • Max period of 15 months.

  • Must be approved by DAC or removed.

  • The extent to which your archdeacon will sign these off can vary greatly.

Everything else requires full permission

  • The mechanism for granting permission for works and alterations to church buildings.

  • Normally in lieu of Listed Building Consent.

  • Granted by a judge – the Chancellor of the Diocese.

  • Usually requires the support of the DAC.


Things that need a Faculty

  • Anything altering the appearance of the church, internally or externally, including:

    1. Redecoration

    2. Relighting

    3. Installation of audio-visual equipment

    4. Re-ordering of interior

    5. Installation of ramps, WCs, permanent signage

    6. Routine repairs costing over £10,000

Major Works

  • Structural works

  • Removal of fixtures (often historical)

  • Extension

  • Partial demolition

  • Introduction of major new fixtures

Additional Consultations

  • External works may also require separate planning permission from Local Authority.

  • Works may require consultation with other outside bodies e.g.

    1. Historic England

    2. Victorian Society

    3. 20th Century Society

    4. SPAB

    5. Your Architect will advise and lead on this.


Working With Consultees

  • There are basically only two consent givers.

    1. The PCC

    2. The Chancellor

  • All others, including DAC, are advisory.

  • If the Chancellor agrees with consultees it is because you have not justified your proposal in his opinion.


  • Church Commissioners

    1. As part of overall diocese bid – mission focus.

  • Diocese funds

    1. Mission fund

  • Heritage Lottery Fund

  • Fundraising

  • Mortgage

  • VAT

    1. Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme.

    2. Watch your cashflow.

Managing your project

  • Appoint your Architect.

    1. Competitive Tender?

  • Agree a scheme.

  • Appoint your Main Contractor.

  • Contracts - JCT

  • CDM 2015

  • Who is the Client, Principal Designer, Principal Contractor?

  • Project Manager?


  • It’s only a building!

  • Don’t let the existing configuration dictate.

  • Let your vision dictate how the space is used.

  • Consider reorienting the building.

  • Have a bold vision.

  • What will your congregation be in 5 -10years?

  • Expect growth and plan accordingly.

If you require further assistance, please contact Andrew Parsons.