North Elevation

Guidelines for Diocesan Secretaries in respect of the Quinquennial Inspection of Churches

by Diocesan Architect or Surveyor

Brief for the Architect/Surveyor

  1. The Architect/Surveyor to-inspect each church externally and internally, together with any outbuildings, within the curtilage of the church and also the boundary walls of the site.
  2. If a previous survey report is not in existence/available the Architect/Surveyor to prepare a Full Condition Report on the church property.
  3. If a previous survey report is in existence/available, the Architect/Surveyor to prepare a Partial Condition Report on the church property which shall not include details as to the description of the building, the construction of the building or its layout or the materials used in construction but shall include full details as to the condition of the building, outbuildings and boundary walls of the site, and shall set out defects and deficiencies which may have occurred since the previous survey and any remedial works that may be required to the property.
  4. A standard form of report with instructions to the Architect/Surveyor is attached but, in particular, the following points should be covered:-
    1. External
      1. The roof should be inspected and the parish should provide a ladder for this purpose.
      2. The tower (where present) should be inspected carefully.
      3. Any conditions leading to the outbreak of dry rot or wet rot should be noted, such as defective downpipes or gutters
      4. Windows.
    2. Internal
      1. The roof space should be inspected.
      2. Galleries should be inspected for their stability.
      3. Organ chambers should be inspected internally if possible.
  5. Work specified should be divided under four headings:
    1. Those requiring immediate attention.
    2. Those requiring attention within eighteen months.
    3. Those requiring attention within five years.
    4. Those requiring attention in the longer term.
  6. The report is to be completed in a standard form on the basis of the document attached.
  7. Arrangements are to be made by the Architect/Surveyor with the parish for the provision by the parish of ladders and other equipment to gain access to roofs, spires and other areas of the Church inaccessible from ground level.
  8. The Report is to be sent to the Parish and Diocesan office holders.
  9. A Log Book (copies available from the Representative Church Body) is to be maintained by each parish in which shall be entered details of all works carried out to the Churches. This should be available for inspection by the Architect/Surveyor and the Rural Dean.
  1. Summary of the general condition of the church:

    At a first inspection the Architect/Surveyor should inspect all the items listed below and make a report under these headings including materials, construction and condition.

    At second and subsequent inspections the headings may be used as a checklist, but the report need only refer to items where changes have occurred in the condition and where repair work is necessary.

    Enniscoffey Church

    Structural Condition: General report on structural stability including notes on any matters of specific importance.

    Walls and Masonry: Type and condition of the stone or brickwork, condition of pointing, external rendering or plastering, location and diagnosis of cracks and other defects.

    Tower (if any): Walls, floors, roof, roof access, parapets and spire (if any); vanes; bells, their number, sizes, condition of fittings; Bell Frame and stability of the latter relating to tower, clock, clock weights, etc. The tower/spire must be inspected at close hand.

    Roofs and Gutters: Description and condition of coverings on all pitched and flat roofs, including as far as practicable, fixings and linings; the condition of metal or other box and parapet gutters; internal valleys and flashings; the effectiveness of heat-loss insulation and adequacy of ventilation in the roof spaces; the state of timbers and trusses below pitched and flat roofs; the safety of plaster ceilings; evidence of presence of fungal rot and insect attack. The Architect/Surveyor is expected to make a close inspection of the roof from a ladder and internally to inspect the roofspace.

    Rainwater Disposal System and Drainage: Condition and capacity of eaves, gutters, rainwater pipes, gulleys, dry areas and provision of surface-water drainage and outfall; vegetation growth; adequacy of the subsoil drainage.

    Internal Decoration: Internal plastering and finishes.

    Floors and Galleries: Stagings, suspended and solid floors; pavings and stone, tile, and composition; heating and ventilation ducts and gratings.

    Glazing and Ventilation: Leakages, draught sources, condition of ironwork, and wire guards (if any); efficiency of ventilation; notes on stained glass, especially ancient stained glass and ancient clear glass.

    Fittings: Monuments; fittings and furniture of interest or value of whatever period.

    Boundary Walls, paths and gates: general condition of churchyard/graveyard, walls and trees, etc., insofar as this affects public safety.

    Electrical installation: This should be inspected and general comments made about the condition.

    Heating installation: This should be inspected and general comments about the condition.

    Lightning Conductor: Comments made about the presence and adequacy of the lightning conductor.

    Fire Safety: Comments.

  2. Summary of recommendation of works requiring attention:

    The Architect/Surveyor should clearly indicate priorities and suggest phasing over one or more quinquennium periods, listed under:

    1. Maintenance: A brief description of essential periodic maintenance required with notes on the special needs of the particular property.
    2. Works of repair, in order of priority by the following definitions:
      1. Urgent
      2. Essential within the next 18 months
      3. Essential within the quinquennium
      4. Requiring attention in the longer term
  3. Matters requiring extended survey or opening up:

    The Architect/Surveyor should recommend what is required to complete the effectiveness of the survey, i.e., any uncovering of concealed spaces which is considered prudent, or inspection of electrical and heating installations, bells, etc and further investigation of any problems calling for the services of a suitably qualified specialist.

  4. Scope of the Report

    The report is to be based on a thorough inspection of the buildings, out buildings and the boundary walls of the site. Inaccessible areas should be clearly identified and defined.

  5. Architect's/Surveyor's name, address and qualifications