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Faculty Jurisdiction (formally DAC Permissions)

Most work on bell installations is likely to require permission to satisfy the Church of Englandís planning procedure, which is enshrined in the Care of Churches Ecclesiastical Exemption Measure 1991. In this the DACís function is roughly comparable to that of a Planning Officer, and the Chancellor of the Diocesan (Consistory) Court is analogous to that of a Planning Committee. Failure to comply with this may jeopardise the Churchís exemption from many requirements of planning law.

New guidelines came into force on 1st January 2016 which detail the permission needed for three different groups of work, which are itemised in List A work, List B work and Other Work.

List A Works

List A works are shown below; these require no permission provided that the conditions listed are complied with.

  1. The inspection and routine maintenance of bells, including fittings, and bell frames.
  2. The repair and maintenance of clappers, crown staples (including re-bushing), and bell wheels.
  3. The repair or replacement of bell stays, pulleys, ropes (including in Ellacombe apparatus), rope bosses, sliders and slider gear.
  4. The repainting of metal bell frames and metal bell fittings.

Conditions that apply to List A works; if these conditions cannot be complied with, the works will fall into List B:

  1. No tonal alterations are made to any bell
  2. No bell is lifted from its bearings
  3. No re-soling or re-rimming of a wheel is envisaged
  4. Regard is paid to the paint specification preferred by the DAC

List B Works

List B works are shown below. These require an Archdeaconís Permission; this will be given in writing to the PCC, after consultation with the DAC and its Bells Adviser.

  1. The lifting of a bell to allow the cleaning of bearings and housings
  2. The like-for-like replacement of:
    1. bearings and their housings
    2. gudgeons
    3. crown staple assembly
    4. steel or cast iron headstocks
    5. wheels
  3. The replacement of:
    1. bell bolts
    2. a wrought iron clapper with a wooden-shafted clapper
  4. The treatment of timber bell frames with preservative or insecticide
  5. The re-pinning or re-facing of hammers in Ellacombe apparatus
  6. The introduction of peal boards in an area not usually accessible to the public

Conditions that apply to List B works; the Archdeaconís Permission requires that these conditions are complied with; otherwise the works will require a Faculty;

  1. The bell is currently in a fit condition to be rung
  2. The works do not include the drilling or turning of a bell
  3. Regard is paid to any guidance issued by the Church Buildings Council

Other Works

All other works require a Faculty. This includes the installation of sound management systems in tower and spire louvres, and the installation of dumbbells, simulators or other training devices.