Policy documents etc
This page collects together some government sponsored (though not necessarily government agreed) review and policy documents and closely related material for historic religious buildings in the United Kingdom. The focus is firmly on buildings.
The page is not complete, we may at a later date we may systematically add policy documents produced by the denominations, but have not yet done so.
‘Ecclesiastical exemption‘ is dealt with at the foot of the page.
Please advise us of any corrections or additions.
In England, English Heritage have produced a number of policy documents, which we assume will be carried across to the successor organisation, Historic England in April 2015. Many or all of these documents are also available directly from the English Heritage website. This is a selection only from a wide-ranging set of policy documents related to historic religious buildings; furthermore, the English Heritage website contains other material not in pdf format, and the website should be consulted, particularly if advice or guidance is being sought.
- Guidance for Methodists and Nonconformist chapels in Cornwall and summary
- Caring for places of worship (2010)
- Research: Churches and closure in the Church of England (2010)
- English Heritage and Defra: Options for the disposal of redundant churches and other places of worship (2010)
- Designation listing selection guide: places of worship (2011)
- Theft of metal from church buildings (2011)
- New work in historic places of worship (2012)
- New uses for former places of worship (2012)
- Solar electric panesl (2012)
- Dealing with bat droppings (2012) and Defra sponsored report on improving mitigation success of bats in churches (2014)
- PLACES OF WORSHIP STRATEGY 2013-18
- What do Buddhist Building tell us about Buddhist Communities in England – https://heritagecalling.com/2014/07/03/what-do-buddhist-buildings-tell-us-about-buddhist-communities-in-england/
- Conservation Principles by Historic England – https://www.historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/conservation-principles-sustainable-management-historic-environment/
- Methodist and Non-Conformist Chapels in Cornwell – https://content.historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/guidance-methodist-nonconformist-chapels-cornwall/guidance-chapels-cornwall.pdf/
- Coming soon from Historic England – The British Mosque: An Architectural and social history
- Coming soon from Oxbow Books – Chapels of England by C Wakeling
In Scotland, a report with recommendations was produced by HEACS in 2009, though the Scottish Government did not respond to the recommendations: Scotland’s ecclesiastical heritage report with recommendations.This report was supported by a Research report and a report on Church-state relationships in selected other European countries
In 2006 the Scottish Civic Trust published New uses for former church buildings
In 2012 there was a Church in Wales: Review which will have a long term impact on church buildings.
In 2013 the Welsh government produced the Wales faith tourism action plan.
In 2014 a Church in Wales policy document on Pilgrim churches was published in the journal of the Ecclesiological Society (by kind permission).
In 2015 Cadw published the Strategic Action Plan for Historic Places of Worship in Wales.
The ‘ecclesiastical exemption’ is an exemption from Listed Building Control. It has been suggested that this is a misleading name, and that something along the lines of ‘Ecclesiastical Listed Building Control’ would be more appropriate.
The Ecclesiastical Exemption in England applies to a specified set of denominations only. See the readable guidance at Ecclesiastical exemption in England and Wales: guidance (2010). The order itself is at The Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (England) Order 2010.
The Ecclesiastical Exemption in Scotland for ecclesiastical buildings used for ecclesiasatical purposes derives from Section 54 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997. A number of denominations have signed up to a voluntary Scheme to Apply Listed Building Control to Exteriors of Churches in Ecclesiastical Use.
The Ecclesiastical Exemption in Wales relies on a 1994 Order. It applies to specified set of denominations only. The 1994 Order itself does not seem easy to find online, and we give here a copy archived by Unesco The Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Order 1994 . The guidance to the operation of the 1994 order is a booklet called The Ecclesiastical Exemption – What is it and How it Works The ecclesiastical exemption arrangements in Wales were reviewed in 2004 and CADW have stated that there is a need to make changes to the current Order to mirror changes already introduced in England.