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 2024 | PDF
What permission do 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
How to apply for List B or a Faculty
You can apply for List B or a Faculty by visiting the online Faculty portal and registering an account.
Online Faculty Portal | Webpage
If you experience any difficulties with the portal please refer to the page of frequently asked questions on their website here or have a look at the user manual here. If neither of these options help, please email Charlotte Hodgson, the Assistant DAC Secretary for further information.
Once you have received notice from the portal that the public notice certificate has been submitted, please send a cheque for the Faculty fee of £200 payable to Birketts LLP to The Diocesan Registry, Birketts LLP, Providence House, 141-145 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1QJ. If you wish to pay by BACS, details are as follows:
Bank of Scotland
Sort code: 12-16-39
Please use reference 2345/153 followed by the name of the parish.
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.
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
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
Chancellor’s Rule on Live-Streaming Cameras
The following works may be undertaken without a faculty, and work may be done via List B application to the archdeacon, provided that in each case, the conditions set out below have been satisfied:
The installation of live-streaming cameras and other equipment for the purpose of transmitting and recording live images via electronic means:
The DAC has been consulted and has recommended the installation
The PCC has resolved to proceed with the installation
Where anything is to be fixed to the fabric of the church, the details of the fixings shall be approved and the installation shall be overseen by the church’s architect or surveyor so as to minimise damage and visual impact.
If an emergency repair is necessary then please email your Archdeacon or the DAC Secretary, Edmund Harris