The Catholic Archdicese of Birmingham Archives

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HCC - Historic Churches Committee

Dates: 1995- 2017

Number of records in this collection: 425


The Historic Churches Committee first met on 23rd March 1994 . The committee oversees the renovation, removal or addition of space, fixtures and fittings of non-listed parish churches in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. The committee is made up of both priests and lay experts. The collection comprises the paper documents of applications to the Historic Churches Committee (HCC) from 1994-2017. The records are archives according to their corrosponding archival parish number (P1,2,3 etc.) and not their parish reference number.


Church buildings exist for the worship of God and to serve the mission of the Church. They are sacred buildings which need and deserve to be cared for and cherished. Canon Law requires that clergy must ‘carefully supervise the administration of goods’ (Canon 1276) and take ‘special care that damage will not be suffered by the Church through the non-observance of the civil law’ (Canon 1284 §2, 3o). Under the Ecclesiastical Exemption Order 1994 churches and chapels in use for worship are exempted from some of the provisions of planning legislation subject to approved alternative controls and procedures being exercised by Church authorities. In general terms this means that the churches of the Catholic Church are exempt from Listed Building Control. Bishops are charged with the responsibility of exercising vigilance over the remodelling of places of worship and to protect works of art and sacred furnishings. In the Archdiocese of Birmingham this vigilance is exercised by the Historic Churches Committee. The Committee first met on 23rd March 1994. The committee is made up both of priests and a variety of lay experts including architects, artists, art historians and representatives of English Heritage and the national amenity societies. The members are appointed by the Archbishop for a three year term. The records deposited are the applications and pre-consultation for works carried out on Parish churches. The records are categorised by the allocated archive parish number and not the parish reference number as found in the directory. Churches which are listed may have both HCC and AAC files, depending on the date of listing. Files are stored by application type and are identifiable by their archive parish number.

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