Clergy

Financial & Administrative Information for Diocesan priests

This page contains important financial and administrative information for Diocesan priests.

Clergy Domestic Costs and Housekeeping

For the priests of the parish, accommodation costs are met by the parish including all utilities. Housekeeping expenditure is managed either by a sum paid into the priest's personal account for housekeeping or through use of the parish credit card. A minimum of £80 per week per priest should be provided: £100 per week is now common in parishes. This should be discussed with the Parish Finance Committee and ideally paid by monthly standing order. Preferably, cash should not be reserved from the offertory to provide a housekeeping purse: the offertory collection should be banked in full.  This is to ensure that the 25% credit claimed through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme up to £8,000 per church per year can be claimed.  This claim is only available on cash donations that have been paid in to the bank. Priests should avoid regularly using a personal credit card for domestic expenditure and seeking reimbursement from the parish.

As an alternative to a housekeeping payment to the priest, the parish credit card can be used directly to fund domestic needs in the presbytery. It is not anticipated that priests will use the parish credit card for domestic purchases if they are in receipt of a housekeeping payment.

Media subscriptions for the presbytery such as TV and Broadband are viewed as a legitimate domestic/parish office cost to be met by the parish.

Clergy Personal Income

The personal support of the priest is funded through the Christmas and Easter offerings, plus Mass stipends and stole fees. This income is booked into a restricted parish fund for the support of the clergy and the whole amount can be drawn by the priest. The parish can claim Gift Aid on Christmas and Easter offering. When the Gift Aid claim is credited to the parish, the part of the income that arises from the Christmas and Easter Offerings should be added to the fund for the support of clergy.

Cheques made out to the priest personally on any occasion are regarded as gifts to the individual not donations to the charity and they cannot be Gift Aided.

Priests whose potential income from these parish sources falls below the Diocesan annual salary of £6,500 should contact the Vicar General, who can arrange for additional funding to be made available. The Vicar General can be contacted on vg@abdiocese.org.uk

Married Former Anglican Priests

Former Anglican priests with dependents have different remuneration policies to ensure adequate provision for the household. Parishes provide for the priest's domestic expenditure and personal remuneration through a stipend set by the Clergy Stipends Authority (CSA) of the Church of England, which publishes stipend rates annually. As at 1 April 2020 the CSA stipulates a National Stipend Benchmark of £27,000 and this is the amount the all former Anglican priests with dependents should receive. The stipend should be paid monthly at a twelfth of the annual amount. The latest CSA report can be seen below.

In addition to this salary the Parish provides accommodation and pays for water, Council Tax and office overheads (phone, broadband) but all other costs including food and heat, light and power are funded through the priest's stipend. Aside from presbytery furnishings, which are owned by the parish, no domestic costs should be paid for using the parish credit card.

In parishes served by a married former Anglican, Christmas and Easter offerings, stole fees and Mass stipends are retained by the Parish to fund the stipend and are not paid over to the Priest.

Healthcare Scheme

All of our Diocesan clergy can join a healthcare scheme paid by their parish. The cost is £375 per year, regardless of age.

Travel Insurance

Our travel insurance covers staff on business travel, and also covers all clergy and active deacons under the age of 75.  All travel must be notified to the insurer before it takes place.

Supply Rates for Visiting Clergy

Supply rates have been updated for April 2020 and can be seen.

Parish Credit Card

Parish priests may wish to have a parish credit card. The current product available is called the Corporate Card. This is issued by HSBC and the balance is settled by automatic monthly debit from the linked parish bank account. To receive a parish credit card please contact Maggie Wares on coopa@abdiocese.org.uk

All receipts for purchases undertaken using the parish credit card should be stored in the parish office for six years like any other financial records of the parish. These should be available to the parish bookkeeper and finance committee and should be filed with the credit card statements for inspection by the Diocesan auditors.

The parish credit card should not be used for the priest's personal expenditure. It should not be used to withdraw cash from the ATM or branch because cash advance fees are charged. If petty cash is needed in the parish this can be withdrawn from the branch by cheque. Petty cash vouchers should be retained in the parish office to evidence expenditure for accounting purposes.

Claiming for Travel Expenses

Priests can make a mileage claim from the parish for all mileage undertaken on parish or diocesan business. A log of journeys undertaken should be maintained and filed in support of the claim. Like all finance records supporting the expenditure of the parish, these should be retained for six years.

Care should be taken to ensure that the HMRC mileage allowances are observed - up to 10,000 the current reimbursement rate is 45p per mile. Over 10,000 per tax year this reduced to 25p per mile. Motorcycle and bicycle rates differ and are published on the HMRC website.

Clergy Car Loan

With the permission of the Vicar General, priests can receive a loan of up to £10,000 to purchase a car. The form needed to record this transaction can be seen

National Insurance Contributions

National Insurance contributions should be made for all priests until the age of 65. The cost is met by the parish in which the priest serves, or if he is on sabbatical or appointed to non-parochial work, it is met by the Diocese.  

Retirement Matters

Diocesan priests are generally expected to retire at the age of 75. It is vital to plan ahead for this with the assistance of the Ministry to Priests team. Our Director of Ministry to Priests can be contacted here: mpp@abdiocese.org.uk. Our Sick and Retired Priests' Welfare Co-ordinator can be emailed here: annie.condon@abdiocese.org.uk.

Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney

It is recommended that priests lodge a copy of their will with the Vicar General as well as information relating to the appointment of individuals with Lasting Power of Attorney.

Please also submit computer passwords to the Vicar General so that password-protected information relating to the parish can be recovered and preserved in the event of death or incapacity.

These documents will be stored securely in the Vicar General's safe at Bishop's House in Hove.