Listed Buildings Advisory Committee

As a consequence of our agreement with Central Government the Methodist Church’s internal system should embody a number of principles. One of which is the submission of all proposals for internal and external works to a listed church to a body independent of the local congregation.

This independent body is the Listed Buildings Advisory Committee (LBAC). Under Standing Order 332, the LBAC is to be appointed by the Methodist Council to provide expert knowledge of historic church buildings. In particular the members of the LBAC are to have, between them:

a) knowledge of the history, development and use of Methodist chapels;

b) knowledge of Methodist liturgy and worship;

c) knowledge of archaeology, of the history and the development of architecture and the visual arts; and

d) experience of the care of historic buildings and their contents.

The role of the LBAC, under Standing Order 982, is to provide advice to the Connexional Conservation Officer on all applications for listed building works. The LBAC is also expected to provide general advice to the Connexional Conservation Officer on policy matters regarding listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas. The Connexional Conservation Officer then collates this response, and the representations received from the statutory bodies and amenity societies and makes a recommendation to the Methodist Council. The LBAC is not a decision making body.

The Conservation Office processes approximately 300 projects for works to listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas each year. Many of these projects are for relatively minor works, such as the removal of a pew or the refitting of a kitchen. The LBAC cannot therefore comment on every project without substantially slowing down the processing system. A policy framework has developed which allows the responsibility for providing much advice to be delegated to the Connexional Conservation Officer. This may however still involve consultation with the statutory bodies and amenity societies. The Connexional Conservation Officer can provide advice on this.

The LBAC meets quarterly (January, April, July and October)  and members offer their service on a voluntary basis. At each meeting a list of all new applications or initial contacts is reported, together with details of all major cases. There is also a report on the advice that has been given since the previous LBAC. The LBAC also receives the comments received from Historic England /Cadw, Local Authorities and National Amenity Societies on submitted projects.

As you can see from the members’ reasoned statements below there are representatives of both mission and conservation, including Chairs of District and supernumerary ministers. Some members also hold property related positions in the Methodist Church, such as District Property Secretaries. They ensure our system is robust and transparent and are mindful of the need to consider the conservation of the building and the continuation of mission when assessing applications. They have Terms of Reference which have been agreed by the Methodist Council.

In addition, the LBAC hold at least one of their meetings in the Districts where observers are invited to attend to observe proceedings. For details of this years 'Away Day' please contact the Connexional Conservation Officer.

Dr Peter Forsaith

Historian of religion, culture and society in 18th century Britain. Current research interests include the relationship between the arts and the evangelical revival. Co-ordinator of the Methodist Studies Unit, Oxford Brookes University, and also convener of the Methodist Heritage Forum.

Mr Ian Hume

Conservation accredited Structural Engineer in private practice, formerly Chief Engineer of the Conservation Engineering branch, English Heritage. Author of numerous articles and papers on structural engineering matters in relation to conservation.

Mr Jeremy Lake

Trained as an archaeologist and historian. Worked as a fieldworker on the Accelerated Resurvey of Listed Buildings. Since 1988 has been an Inspector of Historic Buildings with English Heritage, with a specific interest in the thematic evaluation of specific building types. Numerous publications including 'Diversity and Vitality - the Methodist and Non-conformist Chapels of Cornwall'.

Ms Scilla Latham

Church Building Support Officer for the Diocese of Norfolk

Company Secretary of the Nofolk Churches Trust

Mr Martin Lougher

Martin has many years experience of industrial and warehousing/ distribution facilities, commercial,

retail, residential, medical research, leisure, educational, Home Office and MOD projects and has worked in both public and private sectors. He is well used to working within tight time-frames and within a best value ethos.

Revd Anthony Parkinson

Chair. Methodist minister in Swansea. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Formerly on the staff of the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments in Wales (1970-95); author of articles on various aspects of historic architecture in Wales, including a chapter on chapel architecture in Methodism in Wales (2003).

Mr Mark Pierce

Conservation architect with wide experience of restoring and adapting historic secular and ecclesiastical buildings.

Roy Swanston

Roy Swanston has extensive experience at main board level in the private, public and charity sectors. He has held a number of Government Appointments and was a Director and Executive Board Member of English Heritage between 1990 to 1995. Roy is a returning member of the Listed Buildings Advisory Committee, and will once again bring to the Committee a wealth of knowledge and experience in the conservation of the historic built environment.

Revd Richard Teal

Chair of the Cumbria District and an honorary ecumenical canon

Dr Christopher Wakeling

Art Historian, Lecturer and Group-Subject Convenor at Keele University, where he also runs the MA course in Architectural History. Publications include 'The Nonconformist Traditions: Chapels, Change and Continuity' and 'Rolling in the Aisles: Nonconformist Perspectives on the Gothic.' 

Ms Helen Whittaker

Designer/Artist and Glass Conservator, working in the Keith Barley studio. Tutor to The Princes Foundation and a member of the Competitions and Awards Committee of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass. Many personal commissions throughout the country, mainly in cathedrals and parish churches.

Revd Steve Wild

Chair of the Cornwall Methodist District. Latterly Connexional Director of Evangelism based at Cliff College and previously Superintendent Minister of the St Ives and Hayle Circuit. He has been responsible for four listed buildings and also churches in conservation areas. He is a Director of the Methodist Recorder; he also has considerable media experience having been the main religious presenter on Westcountry TV. He is passionate about mission and using buildings as a resource for outreach.


How do I make changes to a Listed Building?

How do I apply for listed building approval?

What is the Ecclesiastical Exemption?


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