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Faculties Process

From 1st January 2017, you will need to use the Online Faculty System (OFS) for faculty applications and requests to the Archdeacon for ‘List B’ approval.

An outline of the procedure that should be followed when applying for a faculty in the Diocese of Southwark.

1. Is a faculty needed?

2. If a faculty is needed (or if you need to ask the Archdeacon to give written approval under ‘List B’, read our webpage on the Online Faculty System for more information, and visit the Online Faculty System website to sign up.

3. Once your account registration is approved by the DAC office (this will be done quickly, during office hours, but for evenings/weekends you will need to wait until the next working day), create a new application on the Online Faculty System for your church building. This will include filling in the details for the ‘Standard Information Form’:

  • Since 1 January 2014, any submission to the DAC must be accompanied by a 'Standard Information Form'. This provides factual information about the church and its curtilage. If you would like assistance with this, please contact the DAC office (for a copy of as much of the relevant information held in DAC records as it already has), to help you in completing this Form in the Online Faculty System.

4. Prepare full details of the proposed work (in consultation with your architect or other professional advisers) and upload these to the ‘supporting documents’ tab of your new application on the Online Faculty System:

  • specification

  • drawings

  • photographs

  • statement explaining why the work needs to be carried out (the 'statement of need')

  • 'statement of significance' of building (for work to listed buildings) - guidelines for statements of need and significance can be downloaded from http://www.churchcare.co.uk/images/Guidance_Notes/Significance_and_need.pdf

  • supporting statement from church’s inspecting architect/surveyor (if appropriate)

  • any other documentation that helps to explain the proposed work. Please assume that the person looking at your proposals has no previous knowledge of your church.

    You do not need to complete the ‘Faculty Petition’ section of the Online Faculty System application at this stage (see step 10, below).

5. Use the Online Faculty System to consult other interested parties (for works to listed buildings, early consultation is essential) (Historic England, local authority, SPAB, Victorian Society, etc.) and obtain written comments (if possible). Ask the DAC office for advice on who should be consulted in your case.

6. Obtain PCC resolution for work (not strictly required until step 8, but preferable at this stage) and upload it as a ‘supporting document’ in the Online Faculty System.

7. Using the Online Faculty System, send all details to the DAC for consideration at least two weeks before the next meeting (dates of DAC Meetings). Keep your Archdeacon informed, as he/she will speak on the parish's behalf at the DAC meeting.  Simpler matters may be dealt with by sub-committee rather than at a DAC meeting, in which case the application will be dealt with as soon as possible and we will advise you of the procedure being followed in each case.

Submissions should normally be sent in by the Clergy or Churchwardens of the parish; if we receive an application direct from an architect or anyone else we may check with the incumbent that the PCC has authorised this.

If you have not had a response by email, or via the Online Faculty System, within two weeks after submitting, do contact the DAC office to check there are no problems. (But please remember to click the ‘submit’ button in the left-hand bottom corner of the application screen on the Online Faculty System.)

8. Wait for next DAC meeting (normally second Tuesday of month except August) or for response from sub-committee.

9. DAC office uses the Online Faculty System to send the Notification of Advice, Faculty Petition form and other documents (back to parish) – but don't start work yet!

10. Complete the Faculty Petition and submit to the Registry as soon as possible. Print out Public Notice for display, and fix it to church door/notice board for 28 days (not including the date you put it up or the day you take it down). If you have been advised by the DAC office that the works must also be advertised on the diocesan website, do not forget to do this also. Please email the DAC office to arrange this.

11. After the Public Notice period, return completed Public Notice to the Registry.

12. Chancellor grants Faculty (usually!).

13. Now you can start the work!

14. On completion of work, return Certificate of Completion to the Registry.

If in doubt, ask - see section 1 above.