In March 2011, Bishop Gregory installed Llyr Williams as the Diocesan Registrar. This page includes more information about Llyr’s role in Diocesan life as well as contact details for him and his office.
Role and Responsibility
Overall, the Registrar’s job is to make sure everything is done legally and correctly when it comes to the general workings of the Church in Wales in the Diocese of St Asaph. If you aren’t sure who you need to speak to, Llyr will happily point you in the right direction.
The Diocesan Registrar issues documentation to make sure Clerics are legally appointed to their roles, and that the Parishes are duly notified of a pending appointment. Similarly when a cleric retires or steps down, the Registrar will ensure that everybody who needs to know is aware of the situation. The Diocesan Registrar also deals with the preparation of documents for both the Bishop and Archdeacons’ Visitations as well as drawing up the Diocesan Decrees concerning the re-ordering of Parish structures, the dedication or closure of churches and the consecration or de-consecration of land.
Faculties and De Minimis Applications
When it comes to dealing with Church land and buildings, it works differently in the Church in Wales compared to Local Authority planning departments. Churches need planning permission from the local planning authority for operational development and change of use but are exempt from the need to obtain listed building consent and conservation area consent.
Those seeking to carry out any work to their churches, whether internally or externally, need to apply to the Diocesan Advisory Committee (“DAC”) for a Faculty. Once discussed by the DAC, a Faculty Application will be sent to the Registrar to prepare a Grant or Refusal of Faculty for the Chancellor of the Diocese to give his reasons either way. It is the Chancellor who makes the final decision.
If the work to be carried out is minimal, this can be dealt with by way of a De Minimis application, which is signed off by the Archdeacon and Bishop.
The Churches Conservation and Development Officer – who administers the DAC – will be able to inform you whether or not a full Faculty application is required.
The Diocesan Registrar can issue common licences for marriages. The couple getting married should approach the parish priest in the first instance and, if possible, Banns should be read. If this is not possible for any reason, the parish priest will direct the couple to a “surrogate”, who is licensed by the Chancellor of the Diocese (in whose name the licence is granted) to swear an affidavit (solemn oath) that the couple can get married in their chosen church and provide a reason why this is the case. The surrogate will then forward the sworn affidavit to the Diocesan Registrar, who will confirm the information contained therein and issue the licence.