A summary of what PCCs need to do
PCCs are required in law to have your church inspected every five years by an appropriate architect, who will produce a Quinquennial Inspection (QI) report. The report must be in line with the required contents published by the Diocese, which in turn is largely in line with the overarching guidance note produced by the Church Buildings Council. The QI report provides a detailed snapshot of the condition of the building and gives clear guidance to the PCC in how to manage the building and prioritise any essential work. The report also assures the Archdeacon and the DAC that the building is being actively assessed and maintained. The Diocese pays the architect’s fee for this work. There are three fee levels depending on the size and nature of the building in question. This reflects the amount of time an architect will need to spend on that particular report.
The Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2020 superseded the Care of Churches Measure 2018, and now allows a wider range of suitably qualified professionals to undertake QI. In Chester Diocese, letters of appointment are issued for each inspection, and this practise is expected to continue.
The DAC maintains a list of appropriately qualified persons. This list is in three sections:
- Churches listed up to and including Grade 1 (includes Grade 2*)
- Churches listed up to and including Grade 2
- Unlisted churches and certain specified Grade 2 churches
Appointments are by individual person, not by architectural practice. The DAC actively welcomes new applications from architects to join its approved list. Such applications must be supported by evidence of the person having worked successfully on churches (in other dioceses or denominations) or other buildings listed at the level to which they wish to be considered for the QI list. Application forms will be provided by the DAC Office on request.