Criteria and Procedures
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Criteria and Procedures


The Statutory Advisory Committee (SAC) adopted Criteria for assessing the heritage significance of closing and closed churches in June 2008. This document is a primary tool used on site and guides the Assessment of Significance that forms Part 1 of the Informed Change Assessment (see Procedures below).

The Criteria document provides guidance notes to assist with identifying features and it defines the basis on which High, Moderate or Low significance is determined. It is divided into five principal areas:

1. Context
2. Churchyard or curtilage
3. Church: above and below ground
4. Contents: fixtures, fittings and furnishings
5. Church seating: choir, congregational and galleries.

Download SAC Criteria [PDF]


The SAC provides statutory information and advice to the Church Commissioners and the Churches Conservation Trust through two primary documents: the Critical Information Summary and the Informed Change Assessment. A secondary schedule of Additional Information may be provided to support the primary documents.

Critical Information Summary (CIS)

The CIS provides a digest of the 'critical' information relating to the heritage and planning considerations on a church referred for advice.

Informed Change Assessment (ICA)

The ICA is divided into two sections:

Part 1: Assessment of Significance and Overall Heritage Value

This is based on the SAC's adopted Criteria (see Criteria above) and assesses the Context, Churchyard, Church and Contents in terms of High, Moderate or Low significance.

Part 2: Scope for Change and Potential Impacts on Significance

This section examines the scope for change, while considering any notable constaints, to the churchyard or curtilage, exterior, interior and contents of the church.  It also looks at the impact that change has on the significance and how that impact might be mitigated.

To assist with the compilation of the above documents, two further documents are used on site. These can be downloaded below:

• Site Evaluation Notes (PDF)
Site audit (PDF)