The Registrar is Caroline Mockford and the Faculty Secretary is Hazel Bell. They may be contacted by writing to Diocesan Registry, Stamford House, Piccadilly, York YO1 9PP, by telephone on 01904 623487 or by e-mail to email@example.com.
For a full list of faculty documents issued by the Diocesan Registry please scroll down
Churches and Churchyards
A faculty or permission is required from the Court for all repair and other work done in churches and churchyards. This is a requirement of law and the procedure for application is prescribed by the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2013. It is for the Chancellor of the Consistory Court to determine each application (called a Petition for Faculty) after receiving advice from the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches and consideration of representations from statutory consultees or objections received in response to public notice.
The Archbishop of York and the Chancellor have provided a joint statement entitled This Church, its fixtures, furnishings and contents and the churchyard. Also published by the Chancellor is Guidance on Various Churchyard Matters concerning memorials and headstones, management and maintenance of the churchyard, burial and commemoration after cremation.
A Note of Guidance entitled When is a faculty required? is available to clergy and churchwardens in the Diocese of York. In addition the Chancellor has made Practice Directions setting out a List of Matters Not Requiring a Faculty and on the particular arrangements that apply to Trees in Churchyards. Advice on whether a faculty is required for particular proposals is available from the Archdeacon, the Secretary of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches or the Diocesan Registrar. Guidance to parishes about the faculty procedure and forms of Petitions for Faculty (application forms) are available from the DAC Secretary and the Faculty Secretary. Petitioners (applicants who need to complete and sign the forms) are usually the minister in charge of the particular church and the two churchwardens.
Accidents in churchyards which cause injury do, unfortunately, occur from time to time. There have been cases of death as well as serious injury caused by headstones, box tombs, and table top tombs which have been in a dangerous condition and have fallen or collapsed. Notes of Guidance entitled Churchyards: Broken and Dangerous Gravestones issued by the Registrar and DAC Secretary provide information and guidance on the legal position and good practice in this area.
Some recent Judgments of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of York are available - scroll down to the bottom of this page
It is the obligation of every PCC of a church which has a churchyard which is used for burials or for the burial of cremated remains to hold and to keep up to date a plan of the churchyard. The Churchyard Plans and Regulations 1992 sets out the requirements for the plan.
Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches
The role of the DAC is to act as an advisory body on matters affecting churches in the Diocese and in particular to offer formal advice to the Chancellor of the Diocese on all petitions for faculties proposing alterations, repairs and additions to church buildings, their contents, their churchyards and curtilage structures.
York DAC has its own web pages at www.dioceseofyork.org.uk/dac. On the DAC website there are a number of Guidance Notes concerning the care of your church building. Having explored the DAC web pages should you require a petition for faculty form, or further information and advice you should contact either the Secretary (Phil Thomas 01904 699523; firstname.lastname@example.org).
The procedure for an interim Faculty enables emergency works to be put in hand before a Faculty has been issued. A note of guidance entitled "Emergency Work: procedure for an appication for an interim faculty" sets out the circumstances where such an application is appropriate. In addition, the Chancellor has issued a Practice Direction.
Memorials and Headstones in Churchyards
The introduction and placing of a memorial to mark a burial in a churchyard first requires a permission in writing. Permission may be given by the minister in charge of the churchyard if the proposed memorial comes within the Churchyard Memorial Rules 2013. Application to the minister must be made on the Application Form. A faculty is required for a memorial which is outside the Churchyard Memorial Rules 2013, or if the minister in charge declines to deal with the application.
The 2013 Rules came into force on 18 October 2013 and replace the Churchyard Memorials Rules 2005. They should be read in conjunction with Guidance on Various Matters from the Chancellor. The Application Form is attached to the Rules, and both may be downloaded.
Changes made by the 2013 Rules include:
- Memorials Marking the Burial of Cremated Remains: this section has been substantially re-written
- Memorials Inside Churches: this has been expanded and now includes a brief explanation of legal principles that need to be observed ("the five year rule") and ownership of the memorial.
- Inscriptions: this section has been revised and also includes guidance on inscriptions in a language other than English, inscriptions on the reverse side of the memorials and also states Quick Response Codes are not permitted. A letter from the Chancellor concerning Quick Response: Codes on Memorials is also available here.
The Petition to apply for a Faculty for a Memorial outside the 2013 Rules and Notes of Guidance may be downloaded.
Guidance to clergy, monumental masons and members of the public concerning the introduction and placing of memorials is available from the Faculty Secretary and the DAC Secretary.
The reservation of a space for the burial of a body or cremated remains
A faculty is required and guidance is available from the Faculty Secretary. For guidance on any of the above, contact the Faculty Secretary either by writing to the Registry or e-mailing email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a faculty required (a) to fit a lightning conductor and (b) to regularly maintain it?
(a) Unless the work is considered to be of a "minor nature" and as such is included on the List of Matters Not Requiring a Faculty, permission will be needed for any work carried out to a church. The fitting of a lightning conductor is not included on this list and accordingly, a faculty is required for the fitting of a lightning conductor.
(b) Works of maintenance to a lightning conductor by contractors who are members of the National Federation of Master Steeplejacks and Lightning Conductor Engineers and work to earth bonding by approved contractors are included in the List of Matters Not Requiring a Faculty. The work must be recorded in the church log book.
What are the guidelines to be applied by the minister in charge of a churchyard when considering a request for a memorial?
It is important to recognise that the next of kin of the deceased do not own the land in which a body is buried. The family of the deceased has no proprietorial rights over the grave and lawful authority must first be obtained before a memorial is placed upon the land. This lawful authority is in the form of a faculty granted by the Chancellor or by permission under the Churchyard Memorial Rules 2013 given by the minister in charge of the churchyard.
Further information can be found in The Churchyard Memorial Rules 2013 and in the document "Guidance on Various Churchyard Matters from the Chancellor of the Diocese" .
The following documents may be downloaded, including application forms with notes of guidance about procedure and fees:
- The Archbishop of York's and Chancellor's Statement: This Church, its fixtures, furnishings and contents and the churchyard 114kb
- Churchyard Memorial Rules 2013 121kb
- Churchyard Memorial Rules 2013 - application form 22kb
- Guidance on various Churchyard matters from the Chancellor of the Diocese 81kb
- Churchyard Plans and Records Regulations 1992 69kb
- Churchyards: Broken and Dangerous Gravestones
- When is a Faculty required? 110kb
- List of Matters not Requiring a Faculty (Practice Direction 2011 No 1) 99kb
- Trees in Churchyards Practice Direction 2012 No 1 63kb
- Application for an Interim Faculty - (Practice Direction 2014 No 1) 31kb
- Theft of lead and lead flashings - (Practice Direction 2014 No 2) 232kb
- Reservation of a space for a grave - petition form 26kb
- Reservation of a space for a grave - notes of guidance 45kb
- Reservation of a space for a double depth burial for 2 coffins - petition form 26kb
- Reservation of a space for a double depth burial for 2 coffins - notes of guidance 46kb
- Reservation of a space for cremated remains - petition form 41kb
- Reservation of a space for cremated remains - notes of guidance 45kb
- Erection or placing of a memorial outside the Churchyard Memorial Rules 2013 - petition form 57kb
- Erection or placing of a memorial outside the Churchyard Memorial Rules 2013 - notes of guidance 47kb
- Parochial Fees (Diocese of York) Order 2013 66kb
- Emergency work: procedure for an application for an Interim Faculty 39kb
- Judgment Beverley St Nicholas - removal of redundant heating system, demolish redundant boiler house, install a new new heating system with associated necessary works, including the removal (to storage) of some pews (17/10/06) 56kb
- Judgment Sledmere, St Mary - to exhume two coffin burials (1919 and 1930) (10/01/07) 39kb
- Judgment Bramham, All Saints - for re-ordering to move font, introduce a kitchenette and cupboards, re-ordering vestry (24/05/07) 27kb
- Judgment Drypool, St Columba - to confirm the restoration of the mural "Christ in Glory" (1960) (06/09/08) 60kb
- Judgment Newington, St John the Baptist - for the demolition of the Lady Chapel, major re-ordering of south aisle, construction of new buildings in curtilage to the church and on site of demolished Lady Chapel to provide new Youth Centre (30/11/09)
- Churchyards: Orders Requiring the Discontinuance of Burials and Transfer of Maintenance Responsibilities to Local Authority
- Consecration of Burial Ground: Churchyard or Cemetery
- Reordering Memorials in Churchyards
- Re-using a churchyard for second / further burials
- Closed Churchyards and Burial of Cremated Remains
- Deposit of Gold, Silver, Pewter or other valuable object in a Museum
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