Church of England Parochial Fees 2023

The Church of England Tables of Parochial Fees from 1 January 2023, prepared by the Archbishops’ Council, are now available on the church’s website at Life events parochial fees and guidance in the form of an A3 table and an A4 table*.  The total fees payable to the Church are listed below, although readers are advised also to visit the Church’s website to read the accompanying notes.

Links to further information are included at the end of this post.

For parish churches, the allocation of these fees between the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) and the Parochial Church Council (PCC) is given in the A3 and A4 tables; in addition, some dioceses indicate the apportionment of the DBF fess in cases where the service is taken by retired clergy.


Marriages

The following costs are set by the Church of England nationally (i.e. In England) and are the same for every church. The basic legal fees include the cost of the vicar, the church, calling the banns, a banns certificate, the marriage certificate, lighting and all administration, see Note 5.

  • Publication of banns: £36
  • Certificate of banns, if required: £18
  • Marriage service: £528

Not covered are extras such as the costs of choir, organist, bellringers, verger &c., for which new advice was issued in February 2019. The background to these extras is summarized here, and the Church of England’s The Cost of Church Weddings provides examples of 2022 and 2023 costs for where a couple marry away from where they live. For 2023,

  • total for a couple marrying in their home parish (when both live there): £564
  • If a couple marry away from where they live, the cost breaks down is:-
  • the fee set by law payable to the marrying church: £528
  • having banns read in the “marrying church” £36
  • having banns read at each “home church”: £36
  • the banns certificate from each “home church”: £18

Total for marrying outside home parish in 2023§: £618

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 was granted Royal Assent on 28 April 2022, and in August the Ministry of Justice announced that it would be brought into effect on Monday 27 February 2023. From 26 February 2023, 16- and 17-year-olds will no longer be able to marry or enter a civil partnership in England and Wales under any circumstances, including with parental or judicial consent. At the time of writing, the commencement date had not been confirmed by Statutory Instrument.


Funerals

A Church of England funeral is not necessarily in a church. The minister can lead the whole funeral service in a different place, or a church service can be incorporated into part of the day wherever the funeral takes place. Further information is here. The fees are:

Funerals and burials of Person aged 18 years or More (see Note 3(i))

A. Service in Church

  • Funeral service in church, whether taking place before or after burial or cremation (See Note 5): £228.
  • Burial of body in churchyard immediately preceding or following on from service in church: £365.
  • Burial or other lawful disposal of cremated remains in churchyard immediately preceding or following on from service in church: £33
  • Burial of body, or burial or other lawful disposal of cremated remains, in cemetery immediately preceding or following on from service in church: £158
  • Cremation immediately preceding or following on from service in church: £33
  • Burial of body in churchyard on separate occasion (See Note 3(ii)): £397.
  • Burial of cremated remains in churchyard or other lawful disposal of cremated remains on separate occasion (See Note 3(ii)): £190.
  • Burial of body, or burial or other lawful disposal of cremated remains, in cemetery on separate occasion (See Note 3(ii)): £82.

B. No service in Church

  • Funeral service (including burial of body) at graveside in churchyard, £472.
  • Funeral service (including burial or other lawful disposal of cremated remains) at graveside in churchyard, £265.
  • Funeral service at crematorium, or funeral service (including burial of body or burial or other lawful disposal of cremated remains) in cemetery, £227.
  • Funeral service in premises belonging to funeral director, whether taking place before or after burial or cremation, £227.
  • Cremation immediately preceding or following on from funeral service in premises belong to funeral director, £33,
  • Burial of body in churchyard, not following service at graveside (committal only), £397.
  • Burial of cremated remains in churchyard or other lawful disposal of cremated remains (committal only), £190.
  • Burial of body, or burial or other lawful disposal of cremated remains, in cemetery (committal only), £33.

2. Definitions etc.

‘Burial’ includes deposit in a vault or brick grave and the interment or deposit of cremated remains.
‘Churchyard’ includes the curtilage of a church and a burial ground of a church whether or not immediately adjoining such church. (NOTE: This includes any area used for the interment of cremated remains within such a curtilage or burial ground, whether consecrated or not.)
‘Cemetery’ means any burial ground other than a churchyard.
‘Monument’ includes headstone, cross, kerb, border, vase, chain, railing, tablet, plaque, marker, flatstone, tombstone or monument or tomb of any other kind.
‘immediately preceding or following on from service in church’ includes the day before and the day after the service in church. See note at the top right of the table. Where “ – “ appears in the table no fee is payable to the body indicated.

3. Funerals & burials

i) No fee is payable in respect of a burial of a still-born infant, or for the funeral or burial of a person dying within eighteen years after birth.
ii) The fee for a burial in a churchyard or cemetery on a separate occasion applies when burial does not take place on the same day as, or on the day before or the day after, a service in church.
iii) The certificate issued at the time of burial is a certified copy of the entry in the register book of burials kept under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978.


Monuments in Churchyards

Permitted in accordance with rules, regulations or directions made by the Chancellor of the diocese, including those relating to a particular churchyard or part of a churchyard (but excluding a monument authorized by a particular faculty, the fee for which is set by the Chancellor)

  • Small cross of wood, £55..
  • Small vase not exceeding 305mm x 203mm x 203mm (12” x 8” x 8”) or tablet, plaque or other marker commemorating a person whose remains have been cremated, £88.
  • Any other monument, £166.

(the above fees include the approval of the original inscription by the incumbent).

  • Additional inscription on existing monument, £35.

Note 2 defines “monument” as including headstone, cross, kerb, border, vase, chain, railing, tablet, plaque, marker, flatstone, tombstone or monument or tomb of any other kind.


Baptisms

There is no fee for a service of baptism.


Searches in church registers

  • Searching registers of marriages for period before 1 July 1837 (See Note 4) (for up to one hour), £36.
    • for each subsequent hour or part of an hour, £36.
  • Searching registers of baptism or burials (See Note 4 )(including the provision of one copy of any entry therein) for up to one hour, £36.
    • for each subsequent hour or part of an hour, £36.
  • Each additional copy of an entry in a register of baptism or burials, £18.
  • Inspection of instrument of apportionment or agreement for exchange of land for tithes deposited under the Tithe Act 1836, –
  • Furnishing copies of above (for every 72 words), £18.

Access to such records is subject to the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978, S20: Searches of certain register books.


Notes from Tables of Fees

Statutory fees are only prescribed for matters in respect of which parishioners have a legal right. Not all services come into this category, for example funerals where there is a period of more than 48 hours between the funeral service and the cremation and between the cremation and the disposal of ashes.

This also applies to special services such as memorial services and services of blessing and dedication following a civil marriage. The Archbishops’ Council recommends that, where a memorial service is on a similar scale to a funeral service, or a service of blessing and dedication following a civil marriage or a renewal of marriage vows is on a scale equivalent to a wedding service, the PCC fee should be based on the statutory fee for the service, with the PCC receiving the equivalent of the combined DBF and PCC fee.

1. Certificates of baptism

The fee for a certificate issued at the time of baptism is for a certified copy of the entry in the register book of baptisms giving the particulars required in Form No 1 in Schedule 1 to the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978. The fees payable for a certified copy of the full entry issued at any other time are the fees prescribed for searching registers of baptisms and burials and, if applicable, for each additional copy of an entry in such a register.

2. Definitions etc.

‘Burial’ includes deposit in a vault or brick grave and the interment or deposit of cremated remains.

‘Churchyard’ includes the curtilage of a church and a burial ground of a church whether or not immediately adjoining such church. (NOTE: This includes any area used for the interment of cremated remains within such a curtilage or burial ground, whether consecrated or not.)

‘Cemetery’ means any burial ground other than a churchyard.

‘Monument’ includes headstone, cross, kerb, border, vase, chain, railing, tablet, plaque, marker, flatstone, tombstone or monument or tomb of any other kind.

‘immediately preceding or following on from service in church’ includes the day before and the day after the service in church. See note at the top right of the table.

Where “ – “ appears in the table no fee is payable to the body indicated.

3. Funerals & burials

i) No fee is payable in respect of a burial of a still-born infant, or for the funeral or burial of a person dying within eighteen years after birth.

ii) The fee for a burial in a churchyard or cemetery on a separate occasion applies when burial does not take place on the same day as, or on the day before or the day after, a service in church.

iii) The certificate issued at the time of burial is a certified copy of the entry in the register book of burials kept under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978.

4. Searches in church registers

The search fee relates to a particular search where the approximate date of the baptism, marriage or burial is known. The fee for a more general search of a church register is negotiable.

5. Costs and expenses

In the case of a marriage service or a funeral service in church, any costs and expenses incurred in respect of routine administration (including arranging dates and times and the making of entries in registers), making the church available and lighting it are included in the fee prescribed as payable to the Parochial Church Council.


Further information


* The numbering of the Notes differs between the A4 and the A3 versions of the Table of Fees. The numbers used in this post correspond to those in the A3 Table.

§ The Church of England web page The Cost of Church Weddings and the Church Support Hub proforma indicate that the legal fee is £618 if a couple chooses to marry “away from where you live”, and £564 for marriage in the couple’s home parish. The latter further explains:

 “if a marriage licence is required, the licence fee replaces the banns fee and is payable to the issuing authority; For couples who need to have additional banns readings at churches other than the marrying church, the statutory payment of £36 for reading the banns and £18 for the required banns certificate; a total of £54 payable to each church, other than the marrying church, which reads their banns. A banns certificate (and the associated fee) is not required from the marrying church.

Updated, 28 January 2023 at 09:54.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Church of England Parochial Fees 2023" in Law & Religion UK, 8 December 2022, https://lawandreligionuk.com/2022/12/08/church-of-england-parochial-fees-2023/

5 thoughts on “Church of England Parochial Fees 2023

  1. It is worth noting the comment at the top of the Fee Table “The 2019 Order set the framework for fees until 2024. It provided that fees would increase annually in line with CPI. The Archbishops’ Council will be asked to consider if this remains appropriate in the light of prevailing inflation levels and may propose a revision to be considered by General Synod in February 2023.” Therefore, I understand that the fees may be amended following Feb 23 General Synod.

    • When I asked the finance team in Church House why they hadn’t this year produced the useful single-page summary version as well, they drew my attention to that notice about GS in February, and seem to think that there is a distinct possibility that the fees may yet be amended.

  2. In the case of a funeral for a person aged 17 years held in a church, while no church fees are payable, should the self employed organist be paid the standard fee ?

    • Whilst fees for the services in the Church of England are set nationally, those for “extras” including the organist are determined by each church. dp

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