Catherine Copp, Secretary to the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC) writes:

As soon as someone has a cardiac arrest, the clock starts ticking. A defibrillator is a portable life saving device that can give a casualty's heart an electric shock, when it has stopped beating. They are often located in public places such as old telephone boxes, on the walls of village halls, or outside pubs and shops, but they are increasingly found attached to church buildings.

Such installations used to require a faculty, but now the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules have made it easier to get permission for defibrillators on church buildings. If your church is not a listed building then List A permits you to install a defibrillator without needing any permission. If your church is listed (Grade I, II* or II) then List B allows the installation with your Archdeacon’s written consent.

Defibrillators have already been approved at Beverley St Mary, Brantingham All Saints, Filey St Oswald, Wilberfoss St John (pictured) and York St Paul and more are being considered. If you think that installing a defibrillator is a way for your church to serve its local community, then there are charities which supply them free of charge, but you are usually required to provide the electricity supply.

If you already have one installed, please do make sure it is registered on The Circuit (, the national defibrillator network which connects defibrillators to NHS ambulance services so that in those first few minutes after a cardiac arrest the equipment can be accessed quickly to save lives.

You could be, quite literally, putting your church at the beating heart of your community.

Go to Church Buildings (DAC) pages