Who owns the fee?

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All Parochial Fees have two distinct legal elements, the DBF Fee and the PCC Fee. The question is, to whom do these respective fee elements belong to?

The DBF fee

This part of the statutory fee belongs to the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF).

Over the years this element of the fee has had many names  (e.g. the minister's fee, the clergy fee, the assigned fee). In the past it was owned by the respective parish's incumbent but this is no longer the case. Since 1st January 2013 this element of the fee has belonged solely to the DBF. For guidance on how parishes forward the fees they receive on behalf of their DBF see the Managing Fees page.

Retired and Self Supporting Ministers (including Readers)

The law allows the DBF to give some of their fee to the Anglican minister who takes a particular service, for example a funeral.

The practice within the Diocese of Liverpool is that half of the DBF fee may be given to a retired clergy person, self-supporting minister (SSM), or Reader, who officiates at a funeral or burial, if they wish to receive it. In all cases any such payment is taxable income to the individual and must be declared to HMRC.

From 6th April 2017, non-stipendiary Anglican clergy or Readers who also act as Chaplains may also claim half of the DBF fee in the same manner as Self-Supporting Ministers.

The PCC fee

The second element of the Parochial or Statutory Fee is that portion which is retained by the PCC to support local ministry.

The question here is, 'which PCC owns the parochial PCC fee?' Following an update to the legislation, from 2020 the answer is fairly straight forward, it is the PCC of the church, or churchyard, where the service takes place. Fee allocation is based wholly on where a service takes place, which minister takes the service has no bearing on the decision. In all cases the Minister taking the funeral or burial in a church or churchyard should reclaim the appropriate travel expenses from the PCC who receives the parochial PCC fee payment. 

For Direct to Crematorium funerals and funerals held at the premises of a Funeral Director, the General Synod agreed that the PCC fee they introduced in 2013 should now be removed from 2020 and the DBF fee increased. In these specific cases, the travel expenses of retired and SSM clergy, along with those of an officiating Reader, are considered to be inclusive within the half DBF fee they may claim.