Procedures For Changes To Ecclesiastical Fees
The legal status of parochial fees changed on 1 January 2013. The Archbishop’s Council created the documents “parochial fees” and “a guide to parochial fees” to help explain the changes. Further information can be found in A guide to Church of England Parochial Fees
Please contact Maxine Southwick (01928 718834 ext 239) if you have any queries.
2017 fee tables This is a 2 page A4 document, split into Baptism and Marriage fees on page 1 and Funeral, Burial and Monument fees on page 2.
2015 fee tables or A4 Version
Who will collect the fees and forward them on to the DBF?
We recommend that the PCC Treasurer or the Churchwardens collect the fees and send them to the DBF on behalf of the PCC. This can be done via the main PCC bank account or a separate account for this purpose. If an alternative arrangement is proposed please contact the DBF. This also applies to Retired Clergy fees. Technically this is an agency arrangement with the PCC acting on behalf of the DBF.
Which fees does this apply to?
It applies to all fees relating to Church of England services whoever performs them, and wherever performed.
Can anybody keep all or part of the fee?
The DBF ask PCCs to pay this fee locally to the retired clergy with PTO on their behalf, and remit to the DBF only 20% of the fee provided that:-
- The retired clergy are on the DBF list of clergy with permission to officiate (not holding a licence) in the Diocese (see website/diocesan yearbook).
- The Incumbent or Priest in Charge (or if not possible, the Rural Dean or Archdeacon) has authorised the retired clergy person to take the service.
For Retired clergy with permission to officiate (PTO) Chester DBF will, subject to the conditions above, pay 80% of the fee. (This is the current national recommendation).
In all other cases the full fee should be sent to the DBF (including Curates, Readers, Ministers in secular employment and Self-supporting ministers).
What about tax on fees?
Retired clergy should continue to declare fees to HMRC. The DBF has received advice that no employment relationship exists between the DBF and the retired clergy person as a result of these payments.
What about expenses?
Any expenses should be claimed separately and do not form part of the fee arrangements. Existing arrangements should continue.
What paperwork needs to be kept?
The DBF will need a monthly fees form completed by the local agent (usually the PCC). See below.
Forms should be remitted on a monthly basis by the PCC, along with a cheque for the fees collected. Alternatively these can be emailed to Maxine (contact details below) and the fees can either be sent by electronic transfer or collected with the monthly parish share direct debit.
'Nil' returns forms should be submitted when there are no fees received during the month and again can be emailed to Maxine.
PLEASE NOTE: Fees rates change on an annual basis and forms for the new year are usually uploaded in December. Forms should only be used for the year as detailed. Please do not use out of date forms when remitting fees.
Please use the links below to download the 2017 DBF fees forms and notes. Please read the notes carefully.
Please use the links below to download the 2016 DBF fees forms and notes. Please read the notes carefully.
By now we should have received all of your 2015 fees returns. However if any parishes still need to remit outstanding fees for 2015 please contact us for a copy of the returns forms.
If you find any fees that have been missed and are owing for previous years, please contact us for copies of the relevant forms.
Questions regarding fees or fees forms? Contact Maxine Southwick on 01928 718834 ext 239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Does the Diocese have a policy on how many weddings and funerals should be conducted by retired clergy with PTO?
Licensed clergy will normally carry out most funerals and weddings in their parish. This is an important part of their ministry. We do appreciate that retired clergy are sometimes asked to conduct such services. The ministry of retired clergy is much valued, by parishes and by the diocese as a whole. However, in authorising retired clergy with PTO to perform weddings and funerals (and therefore receiving 80% of the fee), clergy should have in mind that reduced fee income for the DBF is likely to lead to either increased parish share or reduced spend on parochial ministry.
What should we do if we are aware of a person claiming to carry out Church of England services in the parish and not remitting the fee?
The legislation will make it clear that the statutory fee belongs to the DBF. Such activity may therefore formally be considered as theft. The matter should therefore be reported as soon as possible to the relevant Archdeacon for investigation.
Guidance for weddings and fees payable
We have received a number of calls regarding chargeable fees for weddings. Please use the link below to access the guide to charging for a wedding on the Church of England website. Please be aware that deposits for the use of the Church are illegal.
With regards to fees for blessings and such like services, there are no statutory fees. In these circumstances the PCC should charge a reasonable fee, possibly to the value of a wedding service. The full fee in such cases may be kept wholly by the parish.
Please use the link below to access the download section of the Church of England website where you can find forms in relation to fees for weddings in 2016.
Any further questions?
If you have any queries, please contact Maxine Southwick (ext. 239)