Maintenance, repairs & wifi
Care and Maintenance
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. Advice on using teh checklist and preparing your church for winter can be found here
Maintenance Booker offers services such as gutter clearance and lightning conductor checks to churches.
What is a church?
Canon F: Things appertaining to churches sets out the everyday equipping, caring and organisation of a church for worship. Their 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.
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. A funding directory is available on the resources webpage and regular updates of occasional grants can be found on the church buildings grants and news page.
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
Please consult the relevant guidance before submitting an application
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 facilties 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.
For information about the cover for metal theft when scaffolding is in place see www.ecclesiastical.com/scaffolding.
Historic England launches Enhanced Advisory Services
Historic England is launching new paid-for services 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. Click here for details
Free articles from Building Conservation
The Building Conservation website contains 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