Who owns the fee?

Making It Easier > Making it easier to... > Manage parish finances > Who Owns the Fee

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?' In the majority of cases the answer is fairly obvious, but because life isn't always that straightforward the law provides the following guidance in order of priority:

  1. The PCC of the church, or churchyard, where the service takes place.
    If the service is not held in a church or churchyard, then:
  2. The PCC of the church on whose Electoral Roll the deceased has their name.
    If the deceased is not on a church Electoral Roll, then:
  3. The PCC of the church in whose parish the deceased had their usual place of residence.
    And if none of the above apply, then:
  4. The PCC of the church in whose parish the service takes place.
Fee allocation is based wholly on where a service takes place - the minister who takes the service has no bearing on the decision. In all cases the Minister taking the funeral or burial should reclaim the appropriate travel expenses from the PCC who receives the parochial PCC fee payment.