Maintenance, repairs & wifi
What is a church?
- Canon F: Things appertaining to churches sets out the everyday equipping, caring and organisation of a church for worship. Its purpose is to guide churchwardens and others involved with parish administration. They list all the objects that make a building a church and how they should be cared for.
Care and Maintenance
- The Church Warden's responsibility for the fabric of a church is a general introduction to the duty of churchwardens for the fabric and care of their building.
- See also the section on Health, Safety and Security
- Grants for maintenance and development are available from a wide range of funders. Funding directories and regular updates on available grants can be found on the church buildings grants and news page
- Basic maintenance and care of your building using the correct methods and materials can save considerable time and money. Prevention is better than repair and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) provides a useful annual checklist to help you keep on top of repairs before they become costly.
- Historic England has launched a new paid-for service for organisations working on heritage building projects. These are a Fast Track Listing, Listing Screening Service, Listing Enhancement and Extended Pre-application Advice. Free services will continue to be offered alongside the enhanced services.
Building Conservation offers many useful articles on the conservation of church buildings and their contents. It explains the correct procedures and materials, describes common problems and the latest developments in conservation techniques. Recently added articles can be found here
Maintenance Booker offers valuable services to churches from professional firms such as gutter clearance and lightning conductor checks.
Listed places of worship can claim back the VAT on many of their repairs and professional costs
The Listed Places of Worship (LPOW) Grant Scheme offers grants to cover the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings in use as places of worship. The scheme covers repairs to the fabric of the building, along with associated professional fees, plus repairs to turret clocks, pews, bells and pipe organs. This offers a potential reduction in costs of 20%. Click here to go to the LPOW website
Conservation reports are an essential first step in projects involving the repair and conservation of artworks and historic furnishings in churches. They are also a key document to support faculty and grant applications. The repair or conservation of many items requires professional skills and a detailed assessment of the impact of intervention and the materials and methods to be used.
Conservation Report grants are open to applications all year. The Church Buildings Council is pleased to support parishes as they embark on a conservation project by helping them get on a firm basis with a suitably detailed report.
Shrinking the Footprint is the Church of England’s national environmental campaign which supports the Church in reducing our carbon footprint. The Archbishop of Canterbury has said: “For the Church of the 21st century, good ecology is not an optional extra, but a matter of justice. It is therefore central to what it means to be a Christian.”
To get started in thinking about how you can reduce your parish’s carbon footprint, see their Taking Action checklist.
Telecommunications and wifi in churches
Churches are popular locations for telecom equipment as their height can offer the best means of providing high speed broadband and leased line internet access to local communities. As cable networks spread, the technology is likely to be relatively short-lived in urban areas but in rural areas such facilities can be long-term. The DAC will consider all applications for wifi or other telecommunication equipment on a case-by-case basis. If the external appearance of the church building is to change in any way, for example the replacement of wooden louvres with GDP, then planning permission from your local planning authority will be required in addition to a faculty.
Telecoms leases are different from most residential or business leases. As well as obtaining a faculty, it is essential that the PCC takes legal advice on the terms of the licence from a specialist telecommunications surveyor before entering into an agreement. A faculty should be in place and the terms of the licence agreed upon before the licence has been signed. You are strongly advised to employ a specialist chartered telecommunication surveyor who will be able to help you with the process and ensure the best terms.
If your roof alarm is installed by one of Ecclesiastical Insurance's approved installers, the policy limits applying to their theft of metal (and subsequent damage) covers will not apply.
For this cover to be provided, the forensic marking solution Smartwater (or an agreed alternative forensic marker) must be additionally applied, registered and signage indicating its use prominently displayed
If a Church wishes to install a roof alarm from a non-approved installer and be eligible for this increased cover they must contact Ecclesiastical Insurance in the first instance.
*It is important to note that the improved cover only applies if churches meet the Roof Alarm Condition and the Theft of External Metal Condition detailed in the policy schedule.
Click here for information about the cover for metal theft when scaffolding is in place.
Please consult the relevant guidance below before submitting a faculy or List B application