Maintenance, repairs & wifi
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
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
Before submitting your application or carrying out any work please refer to the relevant factsheet below:
Remember to mark up all metals on low level roofs such as sheeting porches, vestry and side aisles with Smart Water and complete a Statement of Registration on www.smartwater.com
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.
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. In some areas the technology will be short-lived as cable networks spread 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. They will need to ensure the appearance and fabric of the building do not suffer in any way.
Telecoms leases are quite singular documents and 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 before entering into any commitment. 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.
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