Parochial fees are legally chargeable for services which an incumbent is under a legal obligation to provide or conduct (e.g. weddings and funerals). Fees are set by the Church of England's governing body, the General Synod, and Parliament. The amount payable consists of an element due to the PCC and an element due to the Diocesan Board of Finance ('DBF').
The incumbent and PCC are responsible for keeping a record of the services taken and the fees collected. It is the PCC's responsibility to pay the DBF's portion of the fee to the DBF and this form can be used to send the required information to the DBF. The PCC holds the DBF proportion as agent for the diocese and should not include such fees in its own income.
It is diocesan policy that retired clergy who hold PTO in the Diocese of Chichester are entitled to retain 80% of the DBF's portion of the fee if they are taking a service. For these purposes, retired clergy means clergy who have reached state pension age, are fully retired from stipendiary ministry, secular employment or self-employment, and who are beneficed, licensed or hold permission to officiate. It therefore includes retired house for duty clergy who are in receipt of an honorarium but no stipend or secular employment income and retired non-stipendiary ministers who are not in receipt of any secular employment income. It does not include ministers who are over the state pension age but have earnings from part-time employment or self-employed work.
It is the responsibility of the PCC to receive the fees for the wedding or funeral, and to distribute any related payments to the respective recipients.
There is a summary of fees on the above return, but sometimes the full Church of England Fees Table may be needed to explain all the circumstances under which a fee is payable.
Payment of the fees should be done quarterly to Chichester DBF at account 20-12-75 20207314, or by cheque payable to Chichester DBF. Please include a reference which makes your parish easily identifiable.
Further guidance can be found on the Church of England website.
Telephone: Peter 01273 425 046; Hannah 01273 425 688