In the Church of England, the church buildings and churchyards come under the oversight of the Diocesan Bishop. So in order to carry out any alteration, repairs, reordering the necessary permission must be sought first. Sometimes this can be given by the Archdeacon directly, but for more significant work a faculty is often required.

A faculty is usually issued by the Diocesan Chancellor following consideration with the Diocesan Advisory Committee and sometimes other interested parties. The faculty application is usually made by the churchwarden and incumbent, or the PCC secretary, and will often involve discussion with the architect or surveyor attached to the parish, and also the local community.