ABOUT THE FACULTY OFFICE
The Faculty Office has its origins in the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533. This Act transferred to the Archbishop of Canterbury the power to grant "all maner licences, dispensacions, faculties, composicions, delegacies, rescriptes, instrumentes or wrytynges have byn accustomed to be had at the see of Rome". This jurisdiction was to be administered by the Archbishop's "comissarye" assisted by a "clerke".
Today the Faculty Office is presided over by the Master of the Faculties (as the "comissarye" is now styled) and its day to day administration is the responsibility of the Registrar. Enquiries about its work should be sent to the Registrar rather than to the Archbishop.
Although the Ecclesiastical Licences Act was one of the statutes which created the post-reformation the functions of the Faculty Office extend to both England and Wales (and, in the case of notaries, further afield). Those functions are now threefold: the issue of marriage licences, the regulation of the notarial profession and the awarding by the Archbishop of "Lambeth" Degrees.
The pages which follow give more information about each of these. The Faculty Office can be contacted at:
1 The Sanctuary
London SW1P 3JT
Telephone 020 7222 5381 (10.00am to 4.00pm on normal working days)
Fax 020 7222 7502