Church buildings are the most public indication of the Church's role in the community, both as the places in which public worship takes place and as a focus for many events which reach beyond the worshipping congregation to society at large. They have also been integral to the Islands' history and development.
Though first and foremost places of worship, churches are also often the oldest building in a settlement still in continual use. Many are the largest, most architecturally complex, most archaeologically sensitive, and most visited building in their community.
With the help of their tireless volunteers, church buildings across the Bailiwick are continuing to contribute to their wider communities in increasingly diverse ways.
In Guernsey, as in the wider Church of England, procedures have been established over the years to ensure that alterations and repairs to our church buildings are of the highest quality and that important contents are preserved. Much good advice on caring for, and developing, church buildings can be found on the Church Buildings Council Churchcare website. Whilst the financial and legal context is very different in Guernsey, the principles and good practice are transferable.
There is consultation with the States of Guernsey's Development and Planning Authority and the local parish constables and douzaine before any significant external or internal work is proposed. This will be further developed when the management committees are established under the Parochial Church Property (Guernsey) Law 2015 for the ten ancient parish churches (the law can be found here).
A Faculty from the Ecclesiastical Court is required, both for work described in the previous paragraph and for apparently more minor and internal work. The Faculty process is a necessary safeguard for all concerned, including clergy, churchwardens and parish officers. However, for those involved in making changes to a church it can seem cumbersome: it is hoped that the information on this page will make the process easier and more straightforward.
A Faculty is also required for exhumations in consecrated ground.
Applying for a Faculty
Given the variety of applications for Faculties, there is not a standard application form.
Full details of the Faculty procedure in the Deanery of Guernsey can be found by clicking on the button below.