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Church buildings and churchyards

Exterior of a rural church and graveyard in the sunshineMaintaining 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: property@cofeguildford.org.uk)

The DAC

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.

See the DAC membership (opens an Excel document).

DAC 2024 meeting dates and deadlines for submissions

Unless otherwise stated meetings will be held at 9:45 at Church House Guildford, 20 Alan Turing Road, Guildford, GU2 7YF.

Meeting Dates Deadline for receipt of applications
1 February 19 January
11 April 29 March
6 June 24 May
1 August 19 July
3 October 20 September
5 December 22 November

 

You can also see the next DAC meeting dates in the diocesan Calendar

Terrier & Inventory and Church Log Book

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)

The documents are produced by the Council for the Care of Churches and are also available to purchase as printed versions at Church House Publishing if you wish.

Maintaining buildings and churchyards

A stitch in time - guidance on quinquennial inspections

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. 

Download the Guidance note on Quinquennial Inspections and Relations with Architects and Surveyors (PDF)

Essential diocesan guidance for making changes to buildings or churchyards

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:

Making changes to church buildings and churchyards, which explains the procedures and permissions involved and outlines the role of the DAC. Read this first.
Lists A & B 2022, this supersedes any previous versions and addresses the processes for works that do not require a Faculty petition, (see the first download above for more about Faculties).
Churchyard Regulations 2022 – the rules governing burials, gardens of remembrance and memorials. Permission procedures for other churchyard issues are found in Lists A and B.

-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.

Additional Matters Order - 5th October 2022 – this guidance applies when works do not require the grant of a faculty but do require prior consultation with and approval from the Archdeacon via the Online Faculty System.
• The website of the Guildford Diocesan Registry, the diocese’s legal office, also contains guidance on the legal processes involved.

More helpful links and downloads

National websites

Arson Prevention Advice

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.

ChurchCare Guidance on Statements of Significance and Needs

Churchcare Guidance to PCCs on Planting Lists A and B

Contested Heritage - Guidance on considering your options.

Diocesan documents and links

Depositing Items with the Cathedral Treasury

Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 (Amended 2022)

Form CR1 Permission from Incumbent to Introduce Monument to Churchyard

Online Faculty System User Manual

Advice on filming in churches

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.

Westcott Faculty Works Notice

Chertsey St Peter with All Saints Faculty Works Notice

Walton-on-Thames St Mary's Faculty Works Notice

Christ Church Woking Faculty Works Notice

Custodian Trusts

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.

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 property@cofeguildford.org.uk where one of the team will respond to your enquiry. 

The Property Team

View all contact details for the Property Team here.

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