Retired clergy are entitled to a fee for any occasional office conducted, of 80% of the DBF’s fee. In such cases the retired clergy are expected to undertake appropriate pastoral interviews associated with the relevant service. For these purposes, retired clergy means formerly stipendiary clergy who have reached state pension age, are not in 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 even if they are in receipt of an honorarium and/or housing allowance but no stipend or 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. Ministers who have taken early retirement may apply to the Remuneration Committee to be granted the right to claim fees. This will normally be granted in the case of ill health retirement, but not in the case of early retirement on financial grounds. It should be noted that clergy who are not beneficed, licensed or holding permission to officiate may not lawfully conduct occasional offices or any services.
Since January 2013, Parochial Fees have comprised two elements: a fee payable to the DBF (sometimes zero) and a fee payable to the PCC. The PCC acts as agent for the DBF in collecting – and then passing on – the DBF fees.
Under the Church of England rules, the DBF can direct either generally, or in particular cases, that any fee, or part of a fee which would otherwise be payable to it shall be payable to a minister performing the service. Chichester DBF has directed that where a service has been provided by a retired minister, 80% of the fee payable to the DBF should be paid by the collecting PCC to the minister providing the service and 20% passed, as normal, to the DBF.
In some cases there can be confusion about which DBF or PCC is due a fee for a particular service. Guidance is included in the Church of England guide.
Occasional Duty Fees
Occasional Duty Fees are those paid to visiting or retired priests for conducting public worship, taking occasional offices, preaching and taking communion to the sick during a vacancy or while an incumbent is unable to do so for reasons of health.