A parish church is for everyone in the community that it serves, for both current and future generations.
Many different groups and people have an interest in what happens there. Church of England churches and churchyards benefit from exemption from the secular system of listed building control via the Ecclesiastical Exemption Order 2010. However we only have exemption as long as we maintain our own, equivalent heritage protection system.
For parish churches this is the faculty system, as set out by the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules (amended 2022). The permissions process is designed to enable parishes to make changes to their church buildings to enable mission and outreach, whilst conserving the architectural and historical significance of these special places. A full, and surprisingly consumable, guide to every aspect of the faculty jurisdiction can be found in Changing Churches by Charles Mynors.
Meet the people involved in the permissions process
There are a number of people who are involved along various stages of the faculty process...
Your first port of call will be a member of the Church Buildings team, who will be able to answer any initial enquiries, providing advice on all matters relating to the church and churchyard, their contents and their care, as well as the permission process.
From your first contact with us you will be assigned a member of the team to be your case officer, and they will support you from conception to completion of your project, reviewing documents, guiding you through the stages of consulting the DAC Committee and any other consultees, referring the scheme to the DAC and its members and advisors on your behalf, and possibly visiting the church to discuss the proposals.
Carolyn is your first point of contact for any enquiries you may have with regards to the status of your applications. She joined the team in 2020 having been PA to the Bishop of Dorchester for 14 years. Carolyn loves the diversity of your different questions, making every day different and interesting.
01865 208 270 | Email
Senior Church Buildings Officer
Liz has a degree in Architectural Technology and a post-graduate degree in Historic Building Conservation. She is a member of the Church Buildings Council and full member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. Having worked in the diocese since 2016, Liz is passionate about finding the best ways to support churches through the permissions process and ensure the long-term sustainability of our church buildings.
01865 208 229 | Email
Church Buildings Officer
Sophie studied History of Art with and holds a Master’s in Building Conservation from Oxford Brookes. She has been working for the DAC since 2010 and is passionate about helping parishes find the sensitive and high-quality design solutions for meeting their needs.
01865 208 228 | Email
Church Buildings Officer
Hannah studied interior design and has an interest in churchyards. She brings technical architectural expertise in buildings to the team.
01865 208 262 | Email
Church Buildings Officer
Jennie studied geology and geophysics and has an MSc in Building Conservation. Having worked for 20 years in an ecclesiastical architecture practice before joining the team in November 2018, Jennie brings her extensive technical conservation expertise to the team.
01865 208 745 | Email
The DAC aims to pass on knowledge and experience gained over many years by others in similar situations. You can find out about the members of the DAC and the governance of the committee on the DAC webpage.
Diocesan Registry Clerk
Helen is your first port of call at the Diocesan Registry and will be able to give initial advice regarding the later stages of your faculty application once the DAC has provided its advice.
01865 297 208 | Email
The Diocesan Registrar is appointed by the bishop and plays a key role in the faculty system, having been given key roles and duties under the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015.
Darren is an ecclesiastical, property and charity solicitor with particular expertise in matters relating to consecrated churchyards, churches and the faculty jurisdiction. As Registrar of the Diocese of Oxford and Deputy Registrar of the Diocese of Chichester, he specialises in giving advice to Church of England bodies on governance and constitutional matters and is able offer informal advice to parties in faculty proceedings and prospective applicants. He is a partner at Winckworth Sherwood, the firm who act as the Diocesan Registry.
01865 297 210 | Email
The Chancellor has various powers and duties under the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 and deals with all faculty matters except those delegated to the Archdeacon (List B). Most of the Chancellor’s work on faculty matters is dealt with on paper, hearings are only held very rarely.
His Honour Judge David Hodge QC (1974, Law) is the Chancellor for the Diocese of Oxford.
List A, List B & faculty applications
Helpful information and tips
- Statement of Need Guidance
- Statement of Significance Guidance
- Additional permissions post lockdown
- Making a faculty application - Important info and helpful tips
- Making a List B application - Important information and helpful tips
- Who's who in the faculty process
- Standard wiring advice
- Delegation DAC site visit – what to expect
- Early stage DAC site visit – what to expect
- Fundraising guidance
- Faculty Jurisdiction Rules changes (as of 1 July 2022)
- Faculty Jurisdiction Rules
- Lists A & B details