A guide to Church of England Parochial Fees

This Guide to parochial fees is published for the information of parochial clergy and parochial church councils. It replaced the edition produced in 2012 for fees from 1 January 2013. Changes in this edition reflect changes to fees that were made by the Parochial Fees and Scheduled Matters Amending Order 2014, made under the Ecclesiastical Fees Measure 1986 as amended by the Ecclesiastical Fees (Amendment) Measure 2011. The 2014 order came into effect from 1 January 2015.

We have attempted to make the notes reasonably full and helpful but they are intended only as a general guide and may not cover every aspect of the law and practice relating to the particular matters discussed.

In the first instance, it may be appropriate to seek the advice of the Diocesan Registrar, who will be able to advise on arrangements specific to each diocese. The staff of the National Church Institutions’ Human Resources Department are always willing to try to answer specific questions.

As a general rule it is not intended that the Guide will be amended except when there is a change in parochial fees legislation. From the coming into effect of the Ecclesiastical Fees (Amendment) Measure 2011 this can happen not only when a change to the law is made by Measure, but also when a Scheduled Matters Amending Order (which may also be a Parochial Fees Order) is passed, as a Scheduled Matters Amending Order alters schedule A1 to the 1986 Measure (as amended). The latest Order to make such changes was the Parochial Fees and Scheduled Matters Amending Order 2014. The 1986 Measure has also been amended by the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2014.

Despite this, it can happen that minor changes are made to the Guide when there has not been a change to the legislation. This would happen only when it is decided that what is in the Guide is incomplete or misleadingly worded. When such a change is made, a note of the date of the change will appear under the date of initial publication, on the front cover of the Guide as it appears on the website. This arrangement replaces the system of a series of printed erratum slips and updates (in the form of general letters) which were issued for previous printed editions of the Guide.

Questions about the fees set by the Secretary of State (see paragraphs 29, 32 and 64) should be addressed to the Registrar General at the General Register Office, Smedley Hydro, Trafalgar Road, Birkdale, Southport, PR8 2HH, who can also supply details of such fees. The Registrar General issues a booklet entitled "Guidebook for the Clergy". This is designed to be read in conjunction with the Faculty Office booklet ‘Anglican marriage in England and Wales. A guide to the law for clergy’ available from the Faculty Office, 1 The Sanctuary, London SW1P 3JT.

The Frequently Asked Questions page gives further information about specific issues. The FAQs are updated as and when questions are asked about matters which have not otherwise been raised, and seem to be of general interest, and also repeats some information which is in this guide, about which questions are frequently asked.

Definitions of terms used in relation to parochial fees
DBF fees
The parochial church council's fees
Fees for services at cathedrals which are parish churches
Waiving parochial fees
Costs and expenses included in parochial fees
When fees are due
“Extras” and special services
Special services
Marriage fees where a chapel is licensed under the Marriage Act 1949
Marriage Fees where there is a parish centre of worship
Fee for marriage certificate
Itemised Form for wedding fees
Funerals: the concept of a “uniform fee” for funeral services
Stillbirths and deaths of persons who die within sixteen years after birth
Funerals in cemeteries and at crematoria
PCC fee for funeral service at a crematorium or public burial authority cemetery
Payment of funeral fees and expenses
Privately owned cemeteries and crematoria
Clergy travel expenses to and from funerals
“Burial” and “other lawful disposal of cremated remains”
Burial on separate occasion in cemetery
Circumstances where faculties are required
Committals at cemeteries and crematoria
Grave spaces and vaults - reservation of
Who has the right of burial in the churchyard
Monuments, faculties for, etc.
Monuments for children (persons under the age of 16 years)
Searches: Deposited registers
Statutory searches
Statutory charges
Non-statutory charges
Custody of records
Special arrangements for bona fide research work
Legislation cited in this Guide

General Registry Office (GRO) Guidebook for the clergy