How to Make Comments on a Church Closure or Alternative Use

If there is a proposal for your church to close and/or a new use is being proposed, you can send comments explaining your views to the Church Commissioners.

This flowchart shows a quick breakdown of the draft scheme process. Details of the procedure are also given below.

 

Stage 1: Public consultation

Anyone can make comments either for or against a draft scheme to the Commissioners in writing or by email. A petition will be counted as a single representation and we will only communicate with the sender or the first signatory. Any comments received after the notice period will not be counted. The date of the end of the notice period will be printed in a local newspaper and a notice will also be displayed locally.

To see a list of all the churches that are being considered for closure and/ or alternative use, in addition to details of how you can make comments, visit the Current Draft Schemes and Orders page.

Stage 2: Consulting the Bishop and gathering further comments

If we do not receive any representations against the draft scheme the Commissioners will make the scheme, as long as any permissions are granted, e.g. planning permission.

If we do receive representations against the draft scheme we will ask for the Bishops views. Representations will also be sent to the other representors and the Commissioners' Church Buildings (Uses and Disposals) Committee. We will send representors a copy of our communication with the Bishop and they will be able to make further comments on any points they have already raised.

Stage 3: Committee meeting and decision-making

The Church Buildings Uses and Disposals Committee (CBUDC) hold a meeting to decide on the case if there are objections. From the 1 January 2016 not all meetings will be open to the public. The Commissioners will decide whether to hold a public hearing on a case by case basis.

If they decide to make a meeting open to the public, they will let representors know the date of the meeting at which the case will be discussed. Representors can then ask for permission to speak in front of the Committee about their comments.

Our leaflet Your Views Count explains how we will consider your representation and how you can request to speak at the Committee meeting. It also explains the rules which operate at these meetings. If you would like to attend a meeting, please read Attending meetings of the Church Buildings (Uses & Disposals) Committee.

The Church Buildings (Uses and Disposals) Committee will decide whether the draft scheme should go ahead and might ask the Bishop to look at it again before making a final decision.

Please note that the process for looking at representations only applies if there is at least one representation against it. The Committee will not have to look at the case if there are only comments in favour of it.  If you send comments supporting the scheme, we will let you know as soon as possible whether we have also received comments against it.

 

Provisional Committee meeting dates for 2016

The provisional Committee dates for 2016 are listed below. These will not necessarily all be open to the public, but we will provide details closer to the time.

  • Wednesday 13 April 2016
  • Wednesday 11 May 2016
  • Monday 6- Wednesday 8 June 2016 (Tour)
  • Wednesday 13 July 2016
  • Wednesday 7 September 2016
  • Wednesday 12 October 2016
  • Wednesday 9 November 2016
  • Thursday 8 December 2016

For details of the location of the next meeting and to view the papers for the meeting, please click here.