The Diocese of St Asaph is home to 229 church buildings, many of which are of historical importance, architectural significance and are beloved by their local community. We have:
Keeping our churches in a good state of repair is an important job and requires appropriate permissions, known as a faculty.
The DAC’s primary function is to provide advice to Mission Area and churches and make recommendations to the Chancellor of the Diocese regarding Faculty Applications received for churches or the Cathedral.
There are 12 Members of the Committee; it is made up of clergy, architects and a range of other specialists in the maintenance and development of church buildings. It therefore contains a very wide range of specialist knowledge and experience which it is pleased to share with Mission Areas planning works to their buildings and churchyards.
As well as reviewing applications on paper, the DAC may visit a church. This helps the DAC to understand complex or unusual proposals. It also allows for informal discussion with the Mission Area at an early stage, often helping it to develop a scheme in line with best proven practice and avoiding unnecessary expense.
Consultations on Listed Buildings are also made with Cadw and the relevant Local Authority Conservation Officer. On larger schemes, consultations are also made with the appropriate National Amenity Societies (eg. SPAB, The Victorian Society, Ancient Monument Society). These comments are discussed with each application at the DAC meeting, and as the Welsh Assembly Government gives the churches ‘Ecclesiastical Exemption’, (which means the church does not have to apply for Listed Building Consent, in most cases).
The DAC can recommend a Faculty for approval. However, this is only a recommendation to the Chancellor, who makes the final decision.
There have been some important changes to the Faculty system:
List A applications cover routine maintenance or minor like for like repairs. These should be put on the system but require no formal permission to proceed, although both the DAC and the Registrar are informed.
List B applications cover straightforward works (boiler replacement, etc) that have little or no impact on the historic fabric of the church. They are reviewed by DAC members and require the permission of the Registrar before work can proceed.
Full Faculty Applications are also now online. This process otherwise remains the same – forms can be downloaded onto the system, consultation will take place and approval has to be given by the Chancellor.
The Church in Wales benefits from the Ecclesiastical Exemption and the majority of our church buildings are not subject to Listed Building Consent from the Local Planning Authority. However, it is important to remember that although Listed Building Consent may not be required, Planning Permission may be needed if changes are to be made to the exterior of the building or churchyard. There is no exemption from this, or from the need for Building Regulations for certain types of works. Please contact your Local Authority for further information.