You must, by law, undertake all appropriate consultations.
Contact details for English Heritage and the various amenity societies are available via our links page.
For schemes involving a significant change to a listed church (or which affect the archaeological importance of the church or its curtilage/churchyard) the parish is required by law to consult the following organisations as applicable in any given case:
English Heritage: Must be consulted on all significant works to listed churches, irrespective of the age of the fabric or furnishings affected by the proposals.
National Amenity Societies: The age of the church and the nature/effect of the proposed works will determine which of the societies should be consulted. As a guide, the following are the interests of the Amenity Societies:
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings: Buildings before 1715
The Georgian Group: 1700-1840
The Victorian Society: 1837-1914
The Twentieth Century Society: 1914 onwards
Note: you may need to consult more than one amenity society if the proposed works affect fabric or furnishings from more than one period. For example, if you are proposing to remove Victorian pews from a Georgian church then you would need to consult both The Georgian Group and The Victorian Society.
The Ancient Monuments Society: Cases involving substantial or total demolition of listed churches of any dale, sizeable extensions or where notable features, regardless of their date, face alteration or removal.
The Council for British Archaeology: Cases affecting the archaeology of the fabric of the church (or below the ground of the church) or in the churchyard.
Contact details for the above bodies can be found on our links page.
The local planning authority: Church buildings are exempt from Listed Building Consent but any external changes are still subject to local planning consent. The local authority should also be consulted about internal changes affecting historic fabric, as their comments will be taken into account as part of the faculty process.
Works which may be judged to alter the character of a historic building - or affect a significant part of its fabric - may also need to be considered by the Church Buildings Council (CBC). Parishes should discuss at an early stage with the DAC office whether such a referral will be necessary in any particular case. The DAC, not the parish, will undertake any necessary referral to the CBC. For all conservation cases requiring CBC referral the parish must provide a Conservation Report produced by the parish’s conservator – guidelines for such reports are available here.
In addition to the display of public notices at the church, it is likely that - for schemes involving a 'significant change' to a listed building - the Chancellor will direct that a notice (advertisement) should be published by the parish in a local newspaper. This would set out the works involved in the proposal and the date by which any objections should reach the Registrar. Parishes should contact the Registrar for detailed advice on the text of the newspaper advertisement and associated arrangements.