What is a sequestration warden?
Once the vacancy officially begins, much of the legal responsibility which normally lies with the incumbent lies jointly with the Rural Dean and the churchwardens. To this end, and in accordance with the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2000, they are appointed as ‘sequestrators’. The Bishop may appoint one additional sequestrator should he or she wish. Sequestrators are the Bishop’s officers in the parish while there is no incumbent or presentation has been suspended. Where a benefice consists of more than one parish, both churchwardens from each parish are appointed. Sequestration begins when an incumbent ceases to hold the benefice. Usually this is the date of his or her institution orlicensing in a new postor official retirement date. Sequestrators remain in place should the Bishop choose to appoint a priest in charge, although the Bishop sometimes invites the priest in charge of a suspended living to become a sequestrator of the parish in which he or she serves.
Sequestrators are legally responsible for the parish during a vacancy. The main duties of sequestrators are:
- To provide for the services and other ministrations of the church;
- To ensure that visiting clergy and readers claim fees and expenses;
- To account for and pass over to the diocese fees for weddings, funerals, etc and other income which would normallyor previously be payable to the incumbent;
- To take care (subject to the control of the bishop) of the parsonage house and any other property belonging to the benefice;
- To safeguard confidential documents relating to the parish;
- To be aware of the special provisions where the right of presentation has been suspended under the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011.
Parishes in vacancy – fees for retired clergy covering services
For any information or enquiries regarding expenses for clergy covering services whilst a parish is in vacancy, please contact Sue Atkins or 01273 425799.