Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC)


Picture by Philip King.

The DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches) is a statutory committee which provides advice about church buildings, their contents and churchyards.  

The Church has ‘Ecclesiastical Exemption’ from some secular building control (listed building consent, for example) as it has its own method of control called Faculty Jurisdiction. PCCs need to seek permission for most work on their church building and this is sought via the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC’s guiding principle is to recognise church buildings first and foremost as centres for mission and ministry. It exists to help.

The DAC members are specialists in a wide range of subjects.
Meeting dates 2020 | PDF

What permission to I need?

All work in church buildings with some exceptions requires some form of permission.  What work requires which permissions is laid out in List A and B.

List A is the work you can do without anyone's permission.  List B requires the approval of your Archdeacon.  Everything else requires a Faculty.

List A and List B | PDF

To apply for List B work please use this form | DOCX

The List B process is straightforward but cases may have to be referred to a DAC adviser or a DAC meeting so please factor this into your planning.

Applying for a faculty

If your project is not under either list A or B you will need a Faculty.  You can apply for a faculty by visiting the online faculty portal.

Online Faculty Portal | Webpage

Faculty Petition Form | DOCX

Alternatively paper forms are available from James Halsall the DAC Secretary. 

Please note: A paper application may longer and costs £250, compared to £200 for an online application. Cheques for the fee should be payable to Birketts LLP and submitted with the faculty application.

What happens next?

The DAC may wish to visit the church to discuss your plans in the context of the building. Draft Statements of need and significance are useful tools to prepare the DAC for the visit. The DAC may want other organisations to be part of the visit as they will have a say in allowing the works to proceed. Groups such as Historic England, the SPAB, the Victorian Society and the national Church Buildings Council won’t attend a site visit until they have seen your draft Statements.

Statements of needs and Significance Guidance | PDF

What to expect from a DAC visit | PDF

Appointing an architect or surveyor

Most churches in our diocese are medieval. It is important to use the correct materials and methods for repair and to seek professional advice.  At some stage the PCC will have to consider appointing an architect or surveyor. At the very least every five years an inspection has to be carried out (the quinquennial inspection) and PCCs will have to choose someone from our approved list to undertake the inspection. Repairs following the inspection should be overseen by an architect or surveyor - ideally the one who carried out the inspection. 

Architects / Surveyors | PDF

Specification and Schedule of Works Advice | PDF

Your architect or surveyor should produce a specification and schedule of works which describes the repair and details the materials to be used. The DAC will need to see this. The archdeacon will usually be able to authorise the repair without the need for a faculty but the paperwork will need to be seen by a DAC representative. Please allow four weeks for this process.

Health and safety

If compliance with health and safety rules keeps you awake at night, Ecclesiastical Insurance has reassuring videos and downloadable guides to help you:

Ecclesiastical Insurance | Webpage

Emergencies

If an emergency repair is necessary then please email your Archdeacon or the DAC Secretary, James Halsall.