Permissions and how to apply

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...

The Church Buildings team

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.

Headshot of Carolyn JupeCarolyn Jupe

Casework Co-ordinator

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

Headshot of Liz KitchLiz Kitch

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

Headshot of Sophie HammondSophie Hammond

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


Hannah Robertson

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

Jennie Schillig

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 Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC)
The DAC is a statutory requirement and every diocese must have one. The DAC members and advisors, as specialists in their various fields, consider applications for faculty permission and advise the Diocesan Chancellor on each application. They are volunteers who give their time freely and generously to help further the mission of the church.

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.

Archdeaconry teams
Your Archdeacon is also able to offer help and advice, and in the case of minor matters which do not require a faculty and can be permitted under List B, the Archdeacon will consider and determine your application.
The Diocesan Registry
The Diocesan Registry conducts the legal review of your faculty application once the DAC has reviewed the practical matters.
Helen Lambourne

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

Darren Oliver

Diocesan Registrar

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 Diocesan Chancellor and the Consistory Court
The consistory court is the court of the bishop of each diocese, presided over by the Chancellor, and considers any application for faculty permission. Any matters for the attention of the Chancellor must be directed to the Diocesan Registry.

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

Work to Trees

How to apply for all work to trees in your churchyard.

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