To claim for Clergy Cover during a vacancy please use the linked spreadsheet here.
Arrangements from 1 January 2023
1. Retired clergy with the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate (PTO) are eligible to receive a payment with regard to officiating at occasional offices and church services as set out below.
2. Payments to Non-Stipendiary Ministers (Self-supporting Ministers), Ministers in Secular Employment and Readers/Licensed Lay Ministers with regard to occasional offices are the exception to their general ministry which is undertaken on a voluntary basis.
a) Where NSMs and MSEs wish to receive payments for occasional offices this will need to be included in their Statement of Particulars via the HR Administrator, at the Diocesan Office who will make those arrangements. As well as no doubt discussing this with the incumbent or priest in charge of the benefice in which the licence is held, the PCC(s) Treasurer(s) should be informed.
b) Where Readers/LLMs (i.e. those who have been specifically trained and authorised to take funeral services) wish to receive payments for conducting funeral services they must ensure that their Working Agreement clearly states this. (using wording such as “[name] has elected to receive payment for taking funeral services”) This should be done with the incumbent or priest in charge (or in a vacancy the rural dean) of the benefice in which the licence is held. A copy of the Working Agreement should be sent to the Registrar of Readers and the PCC Treasurer(s) should be informed.
c) Where a Chaplain, for example in hospitals, prisons and schools, who is a clerk in holy orders or a licensed Reader or lay worker officiates at a service in respect of which fees are prescribed under a parochial fees order, as a matter of law the fees belong to the DBF and PCC in the same way as they do when the parochial clergy officiate. However, where such chaplains take such services they may receive a payment, in the same way as other non-stipendiary ministers.
3. In all cases it is important that visiting ministers are offered travel expenses (in 2023 at the rate of 45p per mile) and reimbursed on the day of the service.
4. The Archbishops’ Council has asked that it be drawn to the attention of clergy with PTO, Non-Stipendiary Ministers, Ministers in Secular Employment and Readers/Licensed Lay Ministers that they are personally responsible for notifying all payments they receive to HMRC for tax purposes.
Payments funded by the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF)
5. All ministers who are not in receipt of a stipend are eligible to receive a payment from the incumbent for taking an occasional office for which the DBF will receive a fee in accordance with the Parochial Fees Table. As set out here, the DBF will, through the PCC as its and the incumbent’s agent, make funding available for that purpose.
a) the rate for a Wedding is £122.85.
b) the rate for a Funeral is £95.53 per service whether taken in church or at a crematorium.
c) the rate for a committal or burial service (of a body or cremated remains) taken on a different day to the day of the funeral (rather than the statutory definition of “separate occasion”) is £40.91 (in 2021 this was £35.88)
6. For those services during clergy vacancies for which the DBF will provide funding as set out here, the rate for a Sunday or main weekday festival service such as Ascension Day taken by clergy with PTO (but not NSMs/MSEs or Readers) “away from their home church” is £40.91 per service.
7. The level of these payments is reviewed by the DBF (by its Resources Executive Committee) every two years in line with RPI subject to “rounding” to readily workable figures. The next review is currently expected to be from 1 January 2025 but could be earlier if General Synod were to amend the levels of fees nationally.
Payments funded by the PCC
8. The PCC will, on the incumbent’s behalf, pay for locum holiday cover to enable clergy to take holidays as referred to in Paper A8.
9. For services on Sundays and midweek taken by clergy with PTO (but not NSMs/MSEs or Readers) for which the PCC is responsible, the PCC should have regard to the rate agreed by the DBF of £40.91 per service.
The contents on this page were formerly section A9 of the Diocesan Compendium.