FAQs about The Faculty Office

What is a ‘faculty’?

A ‘faculty’ is a technical name for a legal permission or dispensation. A person who is granted a faculty will be able to do something which they would not otherwise be permitted to do. The Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury issues three types of faculty:

– Special Marriage Licences – for couples to marry in a particular church building where they could not otherwise obtain the correct legal preliminary to marry

– Notarial faculties – to appoint a person as a Notary and to permit them to practise

– Lambeth degrees – to award a full degree to a person who has not been awarded that degree by another academic institution

I need a Canon C4 faculty: is this obtainable from the Faculty Office?

An Archbishop’s faculty (under Canon C4 of the Church of England’s Canons) is required for a person who is to be ordained as a member of the clergy, who has been divorced and remarried, or who is married to a spouse who has been divorced. These are granted by the Archbishop of the relevant Province, of York or Canterbury. For an Archbishop of Canterbury’s faculty under Canon C4, you should contact Lambeth Palace about this directly.

I am a member of the clergy from a Church overseas and wish to minister in England: how do I apply for an Archbishop’s Permission?

The necessary Permission under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967 is handled by the Provincial Registrar of the Province in which you wish to minister. In the Province of Canterbury, you should contact the office of the Joint Provincial Registrar, Alexander McGregor, via: legal@churchofengland.org.

For the Province of York, contact details, further information, and the form to download are available on the website of the Provincial Registrar of the Province of York, Louise Connacher: luptonfawcett.com/…al/provincial-registry.

How do I get a faculty to permit works to/in a church or churchyard?

The ‘Faculty Jurisdiction’ is a system for the Church of England which provides planning controls for churches and churchyards. A Faculty must be obtained before most works to a church or churchyard are carried out. You should contact your Diocesan Advisory Committee as soon as possible in the process. The Church of England benefits from the ‘Ecclesiastical Exemption’ which means that, for a listed building which is an Anglican church, secular Listed Building Consent is not required.

I wish to write to the Archbishop of Canterbury: where should I send my letter or email?

You should contact the personal office for the Archbishop of Canterbury, based at Lambeth Palace. Contact details can be found here: www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/pages/contact.html.

For the Diocese of Canterbury, contact details can be found here: www.canterburydiocese.org/contactus.

For Canterbury Cathedral, contact details can be found here:www.canterbury-cathedral.org.

I wish to consult the archives of the Faculty Office: who should I contact?

Lambeth Palace Library holds the archives of the Faculty Office. Further information can be found here: www.lambethpalacelibrary.info 

Contact details for the Library can be found here: www.lambethpalacelibrary.info

Who is the “Archbishop of Canterbury’s Registrar”?

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Faculty Office is overseen on a day-to-day basis by an legal officer who is titled ‘Registrar’.

Entirely separately from the Faculty Office Registrar, the Province of Canterbury and the Diocese of Canterbury both have a Registrar. The Joint Provincial Registrars are John Rees and Alexander McGregor. The Diocesan Registrar is Owen Carew-Jones.