Historic Churches Committee

Ecclesiastical Exemption

Under the Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Order 1994, certain buildings in the ownership of the Catholic Church are exempted from some of the provisions of planning legislation, subject to approved alternative controls and procedures being exercised by Church authorities. It has long been recognised that the right to religious freedom includes the right to freedom of worship, and that this has implications for the care of buildings built for such worship. These powers relate to works to listed churches, replacing the listed building consent process. In the Catholic Church in England each diocese has a Historic Churches Committee that manages this process.

Historic Churches Committee

The Historic Churches Committee (HCC) is made up a mix of clergy and lay members with experience in architecture and building conservation. The Chair of the HCC is Moira Goldstaub and the Secretary is Charles Gillett. The HCC meets quarterly to determine Faculty applications. Past and present Faculty applications can be viewed online here: https://catholic-historic-churches.org.uk/applications

Contact: Charles Gillett, HCC Secretary sechcc@rcdea.org.uk

Historic Churches Support Officer

Matthew Champion is the Diocesan Historic Churches Support Officer and has been in post since June 2021. This part-time role is part-funded by Historic England for three years. This role involves supporting parishes in looking after their listed church buildings, advising on maintenance, providing support in gaining grants, clarifying the latest legislation and helping to source subcontractors who are qualified to do the work to the high standards required to preserve our heritage.

Email: historicchurches@rcdea.org.uk – Mob: 07904 803577

Quinquennial Inspections

A new process for Quinquennial Inspections for listed churches was introduced in 2022. Parishes with listed churches are responsible for arranging their own Quinquennial Inspections and are required to instruct a suitably qualified professional to undertake the inspection. This is because different expertise is required to understand the conservation and repair of historic buildings compared to modern buildings. The Diocese has prepared a specification document to be sent to prospective inspectors as well as a guidance document for parishes on this process.



Useful resources

Faculty website

Details of Faculty applications


Contact details:

Email: historicchurches@rcdea.org.uk
Mob: 07904 803577


Useful documents