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
Robin Webster

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

2022 Dates of future DPC meetings: (please note the DPC now meets on Wednesdays)
13 July 2022, 10 August 2022, 14 September 2022, 12 October 2022, 9 November 2022, 7 December 2022, 11 January 2023, 8 February 2023, 8 March 2023

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

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

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 meeting when it has Diocesan support. These are the dates of the Buildings Grants meeting planned for 2022.

Wednesday 25 May, submissions by Wednesday 4 May
Wednesday 28 September, submissions by Wednesday 7 September

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

June 2022 UPDATE from the Provincial Buildings Comittee to all Charges

Building Grants
At its meeting earlier this month the Building Grants Group considered two grant applications totalling £23,985. One of the applications was for a grant of 100% of costs of the planned works and the Group agreed to limit the grant to the usual 50% of costs. Two grants totalling £14,835 were awarded. 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.

Future meeting – funds available
Unusually, after two of the Group’s three meetings, the majority of the total annual funding  remains available to award grants at the final meeting of the year. There is a balance of £190,467 of the total annual funding of £272,500 available to award grants at the Group’s meeting scheduled for 28 September. The deadline for submission of applications is Wednesday 7 September.

It would be greatly appreciated if wherever possible applications could be submitted electronically to help facilitate their review and circulation to the Group.

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: Dioceses are reminded that the application form specifically requests information on any unsuccessful grant applications submitted in respect of the proposed works.

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.

April 2022 note from the Provincial Buildings Committee to all Charges –
please NOTE some Diocesan Guidance is being written to accompany these Provincial documents to help Charges in their discussions and decisions later in 2022

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: