2023 Fees Table (Amended Fees from 1 March 2023) These are the statutory fees due and payable for services held on or after 1 March 2023.
This table sets out the fees prescribed by the Parochial Fees Order 2019 (a Statutory Instrument) and summarises other relevant information. For legal purposes reference should be made to the Order itself. The 2019 Order 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
2023 Fees Table (For services from 1 January 2023 to 28 February 2023) These are the statutory fees due and payable for services held on or after 1 January 2023, upto and including services held on 28 February 2023, before the General Synod approved the changes set out before.
2022 Fees Table Fees for services held on or after 1 January 2022 should be charged at the statutory rates as detailed on this table.
2021 Fees Table (after 4 May 2021) - Note A4 Fee for Marriage Certificate includes the amendment: '.....certified copy of entry in marriage register at time of registration or subsequently, £11.00. Certificates are issued by the register office and not the church'.
2021 Fees Table (up to 4 May 2021) - Note A4 Fee for Marriage Certificates includes the line: '.....certified copy of entry in marriage register at time of registration or subsequently, £11.00. This is not an ecclesiastical fee and is only payable to churches until May 4th 2021, after which certificates will be issued by the register office and not the church'.
The legal status of parochial fees changed on 1 January 2013. Parochial Fees are fees associated with the cost of marriages and funerals. Parochial Fees was prepared by The Archbishop’s Council to help explain the changes. A guide to Church of England Parochial Fees is a helpful guide to parochial fees.
There are TWO parts to the Parochial fee. The first described as the parochial church council's fee, is payable to the PCC and should be accounted for as the income of the PCC. The second is payable to the DBF. The DBF has a legal entitlment to this fee and the legislation makes it clear that the statutory fee belongs to the DBF. Not remitting such fees to the DBF may therefore be considered as theft, for this reason it is very important that the DBF has a concise record of fees that are due and require a monthly return from every PCC even if the the return is NIL.
The DBF recommends that the PCC collects the fees and take responsibility for passing them onto the DBF. By collecting the fees in this way the PCC acts as an agent on behalf of the DBF.
Fees relate to Church of England services whoever performs them, and wherever they are performed.
As set out in the national guidance referred to above, it is possible for an incumbent to waive a fee in exceptional cases of financial hardship. However, the incumbent should consult with their archdeacon before deciding whether or not to waive all or part of the DBF component of a fee, and be willing if asked to provide a written justification of the waiver.
Clergy expenses associated with conducting services do not form part of the fee arrangements. These should be claimed separately by the clergy person either from the parish or the funeral director as appropriate, depending on the service being held.
Retired clergy with permission to officiate (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 usually* 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.
(*Please see the current Retired Clergy Fees form (Form 2) on the Forms page of the Fees section for actual amounts payable)
A retired clergy with PTO may perform a wedding or funeral service 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.
The DBF ask PCCs to pay this fee locally to the retired clergy with PTO on their behalf, and remit to the DBF the remaining portion.
In all other cases the full fee should be sent to the DBF (including Curates, Lay Readers, other Licenced Ministers such as those in secular employment and Self-supporting ministers).
Guidance for weddings and fees payable
There is a required legal fee for marrying in a church. This is set by the Church of England nationally and is the same for every church.
This basic legal fee includes the cost of the vicar, the church, calling your banns, a banns certificate, the marriage certificate, lighting and all administration.
Further guidence The Cost of Church Weddings.
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.