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, capped at £135 for funerals in crematoria or cemeteries. In such cases the retired clergy are expected to undertake appropriate pastoral interviews associated with the relevant service. So far as practicable, the minister who will be conducting to the funeral is required to inform the minister of the parish where the deceased resided or was on the church electoral roll (if known) and seek his or her goodwill.
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. It also includes clergy who do not meet those criteria, but who have been granted the right to claim fees by the Remuneration Committee. 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 (also sometimes zero). The PCC acts as agent for the DBF in collecting – and then passing on – the DBF fees except where PTO ministers take funerals at crematoria or cemeteries. In those cases the PTO minister should notify the DBF using the Retired Clergy Funeral notification form below, and the DBF will invoice the funeral director.
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 made a direction, as set out above. Where the fee is paid directly to the DBF (i.e. where a minister with PTO takes a funeral in a crematorium or cemetery), the DBF will pay the minister the relevant portion, currently £135. For other occasional offices, 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.