Diocesan Advisory Committee

The 351 churches in the Diocese each represent the lives of thousands of people who have worshipped, celebrated and mourned there. Many are historic listed buildings and their care and maintenance is one of the greatest challenges that congregations face.

This challenge is not faced alone. The Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC) offers advice to Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) about proposed work to church buildings and churchyards, offers training for church officers with particular responsibility for churches, and helps congregations through the application process for gaining a faculty. It calls upon a range of experts and consultants who offer their skills on a voluntary basis. Contact either the DAC Office or your Archdeacon for further advice and information, and with any specific queries concerning works to your church building or churchyard.



Church House
19-24 Friargage
CA11 7XR

Direct line:  (01768) 807771
Switchboard:  (01768) 807777


The Archdeacons

Archdeacon of West Cumberland - The Venerable Richard Pratt, Email: archdeacon.west@carlislediocese.org.uk

Archdeacon of Carlisle - The Venerable Lee Townend, Email: archdeacon.north@carlislediocese.org.uk

Archdeacon of Westmorland - The Venerable Vernon Ross, Email: archdeacon.south@carlislediocese.org.uk





What is the DAC

The Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC) is made up of the Chair, the three  Archdeacons, one Synod clergy member, one Synod lay member, the Diocesan Archaeological Adviser, nominees for English Heritage, the National Amenity Societies and the local authorities, four architects, a planning and historic building consultant and experts in heating/lighting, and wood/plaster.

There are also sixteen voluntary specialists who, although not members of the Committee, assist them by advising on artefacts, bells, clocks, sound systems, and textiles, for example.
The main roles of the DAC are:
(a) to advise parishes wishing to undertake any work to the fabric or furnishings of churches or churchyards; 

(b) to advise the Chancellor of the Diocese when the necessary Faculty (legal authorisation) is sought to do such work by issuing its Certificate (recommending, not objecting to, or not recommending the proposed work), and 

(c) to educate churchwardens and the churches' architects/surveyors in the care and maintenance of the buildings for which they are responsible.

The DAC has no authority to make decisions; its job is to offer advice based on long experience, diverse expertise and careful attention to the particular proposals put forward. It is also required to take into account the Mission and Ministry issues raised by proposals.
The DAC currently meets 8 times a year.  
The DAC also administers the Inspection of Churches Measure. This Measure requires that all church buildings be inspected by an Approved Architect or Surveyor once every five years. PCCs are responsible for appointing an Approved individual to undertake the inspection and the Churchwardens must organise it. The list of those authorised to be appointed is available on request from the DAC office. Guidance on how to go about appointing a new architect or surveyor can be downloaded here. It is recommended that parishes build up a good relationship with their architect/surveyor, and commission him/her to provide necessary specifications for repairs.

DAC Vision Statement and Public Notices

Our vision is to serve the Church by 

a) encouraging good applications from Parishes which will enhance their ministry and mission
b) offering support and advice to Parishes, as far as we are able, from our experience and expertise 
c) presenting to Parishes the voice not just of the present but also of the past and the future
d) challenging Parishes to care for their Churches to an appropriately high standard
e) giving advice to the Chancellor about Faculty applications
f) helping to protect for the wider world what is perhaps the most important part of our national heritage

PUBLIC NOTICES of faculty applications where there are proposed works that may affect the character of listed buildings can be accessed here.

vision for the DACvision for the DAC
File size  34kb    File date 29 Apr 2014

DAC legal framework

Schedule 2 of the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991 (No. 1) lays down:

Functions of Diocesan Advisory Committee 
1. The functions of a Diocesan Advisory Committee shall be— 
    a. to act as an advisory body on matters affecting places of worship in the diocese and, in particular, to give advice when requested by any of the persons specified in paragraph 2 below on matters relating to— 
        i. the grant of faculties; 
        ii. the architecture, archaeology, art and history of places of worship; 
        iii. the use, care, planning, design and redundancy of places of worship; 
        iv. the use and care of the contents of such places; 
        v. the use and care of churchyards and burial grounds; 
    b. to review and assess the degree of risk to materials, or of loss to archaeological or historic remains or records, arising from any proposals relating to the conservation, repair or alteration of places of worship, churchyards and burial grounds and the contents of such places; 
    c. to develop and maintain a repository of records relating to the conservation, repair and alteration of places of worship, churchyards and burial grounds and other material (including inspection reports, inventories, technical information and photographs) relating to the work of the committee; 
    d. to issue guidance for the preparation and storage of such records; 
    e. to make recommendations as to the circumstances when the preparation of such a record should be made a condition of a faculty; 
    f. to take action to encourage the care and appreciation of places of worship, churchyards and burial grounds and the contents of such places, and for that purpose to publicise methods of conservation, repair, construction, adaptation and re-development; 
    g. to perform such other functions as may be assigned to the committee by any enactment, by any Canon of the Church of England or by resolution of the diocesan synod or as the committee may be requested to perform by the bishop or chancellor of the diocese. 
2. The persons referred to in paragraph 1(a) above are— 
    a. the bishop of the diocese; 
    b. the chancellor of the diocese; 
    c. the archdeacons of the diocese; 
    d. the parochial church councils in the diocese; 
    e. intending applicants for faculties in the diocese; 
    f. the pastoral committee of the diocese; 
    g. persons engaged in the planning, design or building of new places of worship in the diocese, not being places within the jurisdiction of the consistory court; 
    h. such other persons as the committee may consider appropriate.