Every church should have a Statement of Significance which the PCC should complete in the relevant section of their account with the Online Faculty System. The role of this document is to identify the history and development of the building, and the significant parts within it. This is to enable those that are consulted during the application process to understand the building before any changes or alterations are made.
The Statement of Significance will be set out in two parts:
Part 1 should identify the history of the building including details such as the architect who built it, the development of the building over time, whether it has been entirely rebuilt (and whether anything remains of the earlier building). Significant fixtures and fittings should also be included. These could include, for example, items such as particularly historic or special pews, wall paintings, stained glass windows, bells, fonts etc. Plans and photographs of the building all enhance a Statement of Significance. This part of the Statement should be reviewed periodically to ensure it is still up to date. Reordering schemes or repair projects may affect what is contained within it.
Part 2 should be tailored specifically to the proposals being applied for, and should detail the impact of the proposals on the building. For example, a reordering scheme may involve the removal of some pews. It is therefore helpful if the Statement of Significance includes details of the history and provenance of the pews (and photos are also an added bonus!). If the proposal is to restore some wall paintings, then the age and current condition of the wall paintings should be included.
Statement of Need
The aim of the Statement of Need is to identify the needs that the PCC have that would enable them to develop their church building, or keep it in a good state of repair. For most repair jobs, the need is obvious and usually identified in the most recent Quinquennial Inspection. It is the PCC's opportunity to clarify, justify and rationalise the proposals they have. The Statement of Need should be used as a tool to inform how the proposals develop, and should be written at the very beginning of the process before any plans or designs have been drawn up.
There may be a range of options that can meet the needs identified in the Statement of Need. In these instances, the DAC may advise the PCC to submit an 'Options Appraisal' which clearly identifies the different options available, and the pros and cons of each.