For the priests of the parish, accommodation costs are met by the parish including all utilities. Housekeeping expenditure should be managed by a sum paid into the priest's personal account by standing order for housekeeping. The amount currently recommended is £500 per month (unless the priest chooses to receive less). This arrangement does not apply to married priests, whose remuneration is explained in the Clergy Finance Guidelines.
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 into the bank.
Where priests receive a housekeeping allowance as described above, the parish credit card should not be used to purchase groceries, although items of furniture/equipment and the costs of parish hospitality will continue to be met by the parish and not out of the priest’s personal housekeeping allowance. 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.
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 here
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 accessed here.
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.
Suggested supply rates are as follows:
Sunday Mass with a sermon: £75, plus Mass offering and travel expenses
All weekend Masses including sermons and confessions: £150, plus Mass offering and travel expenses
A weekday Mass: £40, plus Mass offering and travel expenses
A funeral Mass: £100, whatever is normally paid to the priest by the undertaker, to a minimum of £100 plus travel expenses
A wedding Mass or service: £100, whatever is normally paid to the priest by the couple, to a minimum of £100 plus travel expenses
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 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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 requested from the Finance Office E: email@example.com
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.
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 Our Sick and Retired Priests' Welfare Co-ordinator can be contacted here.
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.