Property Committee

The Diocesan Property Committee is a vehicle of the governance of the diocese, as laid out in the Constitution, in helping to look after and manage the properties of the diocese. The DPC manages the Canon 35 application processes to enable the development and care of our Church sites for effective contemporary witness and mission. The Committee is able to give help and guidance on matters relating to property and fabric to Charge Vestries.

Members of the Property Committee:

The Very Rev Reuben Preston (Chair and Dean of the Diocese)
The Rev Canon Gordon Fyfe
Robert Burgon (Diocesan Treasurer)
Rebecca Cadie (Diocesan Architect)
Elliott Glenesk (Diocesan Surveyor)
Dr Deborah Lewer (Diocesan Adviser on Artistic Matters)
Stephen McVey

Contact for Property Administrator and Dean’s PA, Janet Chalmers—

Sending items in for DPC business
Please submit all documentation to the Dean’s PA by email. Do not send any paper copies into the office unless requested.

Dates of future DPC meetings, 2024: please ensure you submit items by close of business on the cut-off date.

cut-off date Monday 1 July for meeting on 10 July 2024
cut-off date Monday 5 August for meeting on 14 August 2024
cut-off date Monday 2 September for meeting on 11 September 2024
cut-off date Monday 30 September for meeting on 9 October 2024
cut-off date Monday 4 November for meeting on 13 November 2024
cut-off date Monday 25 November for meeting on 4 December 2024 (earlier due to Christmas)

Download the Notice of Experimental Re-ordering.
Download the Pre-Application Notice for Canon 35.
Download the Application for Canon 35.

NOTE: a Canon 35 Pre-Application must be submitted first and subsequent permission granted to proceed to a full Canon35  application

Climate Crisis Engagement Network
During the session 3 presentation in July 2022, Rebecca Cadie, Diocesan Architect, gave this very useful talk to help us in our thinking about energy and our church buildings: the video of Rebbeca’s presentation is at for you to use with your Vestries and congregations as you consider energy issues in your Charge(s).

2024 Provincial Building Grant Applications
You need to submit a Grant Application to the DPC for Diocesan support and it will then be passed to the next Provincial Building Grant Group meeting when it has Diocesan support. These are the dates of the relevant DPC meetings (cut-offs above), plus the Building Grant Group cut-offs and meetings planned for 2024:

to DPC meeting on 10 Jul 2024 for approval and supporting submission to the Province by 21 Aug 2024 for Wed 11 Sep 2024 PBGG meeting
to DPC meeting on 9 Oct 2024
for approval and supporting submission to the Province by 13 Nov 2024 for Wed 4 Dec 2024 PBGG meeting

You will hear back from the PBG Committee within two weeks of the meeting with details of the outcome of your application.

For further details and the application forms needed please see the Provincial building grants and loans page.

2023 from the Provincial Buildings Committee to all Charges

1. Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC): the Committee has produced a short guidance note to help congregations ascertain whether they may have RAAC in their buildings.

2. Guidance on insulation: the Committee has worked with the Provincial Environment Group on the production of guidance of a general nature regarding insulation in church buildings. The information includes some case studies:

3. In response to a request from one diocese, the Committee has produced a checklist of responsibilities for maintenance of rectories. It’s designed to enable discussion, and clarity, between clergy and vestry as to where responsibility lies and may be useful at the outset of a new clergy appointment:

4. Following General Synod, the Committee made some minor changes, in order to reflect Net Zero matters, in the suggested role description for the Property Convener and in the list of minor works which are exempted from the requirement for Canon 35 consent: 

5. The information on the website regarding sources of grant finance for repairs and improvements to buildings has been updated to include reference to the Cherish funding scheme from the National Churches Trust:

Previous Building Grants Comments

The Group has asked me to remind Dioceses that generally grants will be limited to 50% of costs. If a Diocese considers that there are specific circumstances that merit the award of a grant in excess of the normal 50% of costs it should clearly explain its reasoning in submitting such an application in its Letter of Support to assist the Group in its consideration of the application.

The experience of the last few years has been that grant application far exceed the available funding. It is therefore important that other funding sources are investigated wherever possible, and the Group suggests that dioceses should be encouraging charges to consider submitting  application to other grant awarding bodies when planning building works. (A number of funding sources are detailed on the SEC website at:

The Group finds that photos can often assist it in its understanding of applications and is grateful to those applicants that have submitted photos with their applications. It would be grateful if dioceses could encourage applicants to submit photos with their applications.

The provincial Buildings Committee and Administration Board have been working on a number of buildings-related issues recently and some new and revised material has been posted to the Vestry Resources section of the provincial website as follows:

Sources of Guidance for Churches on Heating of Buildings

A guidance note to assist churches in consideration of the options for heating is available at:

The Buildings Committee has liaised with the Provincial Environment Group in the production of this guidance as the SEC grapples with the challenge of reducing carbon emissions.

Recommended Guidelines on Minimum Standards for Clergy Housing

Following consideration by the Administration Board of the report of the Clergy Remuneration Package Interim Review Group in 2020, the recommended guidelines on clergy housing have been revisited and revised. An addition to the new version is a recommendation that Energy Performance Certificates be obtained for rectories and that where the rating is less than C, consideration should be given by the vestry as to whether improvements should be made to improve energy efficiency or whether some form of allowance should be provided. The Buildings Committee is also of the view that any quinquennial survey of rectories should also cover the question as to whether there is an up-to-date EPC. The guidance is available at:

Maintenance and Building Work for your Church – Some Practical Considerations

This paper was issued originally in the autumn of last year and a minor modification has been made to indicate that a “principal designer” for the purposes of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations could be either a Chartered Architect or an accredited conservation Chartered Surveyor. The revised paper is available at:

The Buildings Committee cannot over-emphasise the importance of ensuring that building and maintenance work to churches is carried out safely. Very tragically, two individuals were killed last year in an accident when undertaking painting work to the exterior of an SEC church. The case is currently under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive. The Buildings Committee is in the course of preparing additional resource to help churches, particularly in the area of risk assessment, and is considering how training on such matters might be delivered. We will provide further information on these matters as soon as available.

Health and Safety Issues

All charges should have their own Health and Safety Officer and relevant local policy. You may find assistance in developing such a policy from your Church Insurance Company some of whom have model policies for adaptation to different local circumstances. Vestry members (Charity Trustees) can visit the SEC website; Section 2(4) ‘Responsibilities of the Vestry’.

Property resources from the Scottish Episcopal Church

Responsibilities of Property Convener
Guidance setting out the general expectations of the responsibilities of the Property Convener.

Quinquennial Surveys
Guidance regarding the preparation of quinquennial property surveys.

Church Property Inventory (March 2018)
The form for use, under Canon 35, to record property belonging to a congregation.

Energy Performance Certificates for Existing Buildings
Guidance regarding the requirements for energy performance certificates for existing buildings.

Canon 35—minor works
Details of the minor works excluded from the ambit of Canon 35.

Canon 35—appeals
Details of the procedures to be followed in the event of an appeal under Canon 35.

Equality Act 2010
Guidance on issues of access to church buildings.

Access Audit Checklist
A checklist for carrying out a disability discrimination access audit.

Maintaining Graveyards 
Guidance for congregations on good practice and the key issues that need to be considered when undertaking conservation and maintenance of graveyards.

Sources of Funding for Repairs and Improvements to Church Buildings
A list of potential sources of funding.

Provincial building grants and loans
Details of Provincial building grants and loans.

Minimum Standards For Clergy Housing
Recommended guidelines adopted by the Provincial Administration Board for minimum standards for clergy housing.

Useful Links

Useful guidance on the maintenance of church buildings can also be found at: