With the introduction of the Online Faculty System, all full faculty applications now require Statements of Significance and Needs.
A Statement of Significance defines what is special about your church. This could be architectural, archaeological, historical or liturgical. It also helps you to think about the wider context of your building and its relationship with the local community and how any proposed changes to it will affect these. It is a useful document to share with funders when applying for grants or to the local authority when seeking planning permission, as it will help them to understand the special features of your building and how any changes to it may affect its character. It can also help inform any new building development in the church or its grounds by ensuring that they are done in a sympathetic manner that compliments its special significance.
A Statement of Needs gives you the opportunity to explain why your proposed changes are needed. It allows you to justify why you chose this particular course of action (for example, did you consider a range of options?), what impact it will have on the significance of your church and what you propose to do to minimise any harm.
In most cases, parishes should be able to complete their own Statements. The amount of information included in a Statement should be proportionate to the proposed change and the importance of the church. For example, a grade II listed church having a replacement heating system will require a lot less information than a major reordering project for a nationally significant grade I listed church (which in most cases would be undertaken by a suitably qualified and experienced conservation professional).
Statements of Significance and Needs can be created in the OFS by filling in two forms. Alternately, they can be uploaded as separate documents.
The Church in Wales has produced a Statements of Significance and Needs guidance note for parishes which can be downloaded by clicking here. This will be updated shortly to include new resources and information on historic environment legislation.