Retired Clergy Fees

The current fee payable to clergy who are not licensed but who hold PTO (within Chester Diocese), whose names appear in the relevant sections of the current diocesan yearbook, for taking Sunday and mid-week services, baptisms and sessions of visiting during vacancies, sabbaticals, holidays and sickness cover in 2023 is £47.20* per service. (The rate for services from 1 January 2023 up to and including 28 February 2023 was £49.60 per service and prior to this for services up to and including 31 December 2022 the fee was £44.80 per service). These fees are not reclaimable from the DBF with the exception of those paid out during a vacancy.

*PLEASE NOTE:  This rate changed from 1 March 2023 following discussion at General Synod in Februray 2023. This is because the fee payable is calculated and based on the fees detailed in the current Table of Parochial Fees (which also changed with effect from 1 March 2023). The Parochial Fees Order 2019 set the framework for fees until 2024. It provided that fees would increase annually in line with CPI,rounded up to the nearest pound. In February 2023 the General Synod approved the parochial Fees (Amending) Order 2023 which capped increases to 5%,rounded up to the nearest pound, in 2023 and 2024.The revised fees as set out in this table came into force the day after the Order was laid before parliament: 1 March 2023.

We expect the fees will next be updated in January 2024. 

In order to reclaim fees paid during a vacancy, you should submit a claim in writing (by letter or email to Maxine Southwick) and include the dates and times of services, names of the presiding ministers (who must hold Bishop's PTO and not be licensed) and the amounts paid.  Please note that reimbursement will only be made to the parish for the period once the official vacancy has started - i.e. the day after the outgoing minister has retired or is licensed to their new post.  The period between a minister moving out of the vicarage and their official retirement/licensing date is classed as holiday leave and the costs for services during this time are not reimbursed by the DBF. 

The service fee should be paid along with any travel expenses at the HMRC recommended rate which is currently 45p per mile.  Mileage expenses are not reclaimable from the DBF at any time.

Clergy holding PTO (retired or otherwise) 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.

Fees payable to retired clergy and others holding PTO (who are not licensed), for weddings and funerals usually* equate to 80% of the current DBF fees for such services.  The current rates are detailed on pages 3-6 of the current monthly fees returns forms, which can be found here.

*Please note: The fees due to retired ministers and those with PTO for funeral services held solely at a crematorium, equate to 80% of the net DBF fee after the deduction of the DBF's voluntary grant to PCC's for administering these fees.  For actual amounts payable, please see the Retired Clergy/PTO Fees Sheets on the current Fees Form, found on the Forms page of the Fees section of this website.

The fees detailed are only payable to retired clergy holding PTO or others holding PTO within Chester Diocese.  Fees are not permitted to be paid to any licensed clergy, or those holding PTO within another Diocese (retired or otherwise).  If in doubt, or you have any queries, please contact Maxine Southwick for assistance.


Further guidance relating to retired clergy parochial fees can be found on the Parochial Fees page of the website.

Page last updated: Monday 24th April 2023 3:21 PM
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