Maintaining our church buildings and churchyards to keep them in good condition, and changing them so that they remain fit for purpose in today’s world, are important parish responsibilities - a vital part of our mission and ministry.
Due to the special status of church buildings, this kind of work is subject to extensive legal controls and permission procedures, especially where church buildings are Listed. Parishes must comply with a body of ecclesiastical law as well as secular legislation.
Below there are links to guidance documents and other helpful websites to help with this.
If after checking through the relevant information below you have further questions, please do contact the DAC Secretary who can advise on all matters relating to churches and churchyards.
NB If you’re looking for guidance on Clergy housing, visit this page. (For all enquiries relating to Clergy housing, contact the team at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches and Churchyards (DAC) has a key role in helping parishes manage the work of maintenance and change, and is required to review and comment on all proposed works. It is a statutory body appointed by the Bishop’s Council, so is a key part of this diocese’s governance structure.
Unless otherwise stated meetings will be held at 9:45 at Church House Guildford, 20 Alan Turing Road, Guildford, GU2 7YF.
|Deadline for receipt of applications
You can also see the next DAC meeting dates in the diocesan Calendar
Each parish should keep an up-to-date list of its assets and significant occurrences within its buildings. The following templates for both the Terrier & Inventory (an inventory of land, containing all the articles/items related to the church) and Log Book (a comprehensive record of all alterations, additions, removals or repairs to the fabric, fixtures and fittings of the church and churchyard, during five quinquennial periods) will help with keeping your records updated. Please make sure that historic versions of these documents are lodged with the local archive.• The Church Log Book
• Church Property Register (Terrier and Inventory)
Maintaining buildings and churchyards
Parishes are required by law to have the fabric of their church buildings and churchyards inspected by a suitably qualified architect or surveyor every five years (called the ‘quinquennial inspection’). There are diocesan mechanisms to ensure that this takes place and that any recommendations for remedial work are actioned.
The key diocesan guidance for changing your buildings or churchyards can be found in the following downloads. Please read them carefully before planning your project or getting in touch with the DAC:
-Model Regulations for Gardens of Remembrance - this form is referenced in the Churchyard Regulations and can be downloaded and edited by parishes.
- Churchyard Regulations Notice from Registrar (2022) - please print and display this notice in accordance to point 3 on page 2 of the Churchyard Regulations 2022.
More helpful links and downloads
The Church of England’s national Churchcare web pages offer guidance on looking after church buildings, including a straightforward basic maintenance regime and advice on building security. It also covers the care, maintenance and replacement of specialist items such as organs and bells; and gives advice to parishes seeking to make changes, for example removing pews, renewing heating or lighting, making buildings more energy-efficient.
Notices of current faculty petitions
On the advice from the Diocesan Registry and in line with legislation, notices for certain faculty petitions are required to be displayed on the diocesan website. Below are the notices we are required to publish. Click on the name of the parish to access the notice.
If the Diocese of Guildford is a custodian trustee of properties or investments in your parish, the supporting information, resources and contact details below will be helpful.
- If your parish are looking to lease or sell a house please consult the guidelines on selling purchasing or leasing church property (PDF) and contact email@example.com for advice.
- If your parish are looking to wind up a grave trust please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
Glebe land and other diocesan properties
The Diocese of Guildford owns several parcels of Glebe Land as well as other houses. These tend to be leased or rented out to commercial tenants to earn vital income that helps reduce Parish Share contributions. If you have any questions about these properties, please email email@example.com where one of the team will respond to your enquiry.