“‘That this Synod request the Archbishops’ Council to lay a draft order before the Synod to amend the Parochial Fees and Scheduled Matters Amending Order 2019 so that a fee payable to the parochial church council is prescribed in respect of funeral services that take place at crematoria and cemeteries to reflect the contribution made by parishes in support of such services.”
Until the end of 2019, Parochial Fees Orders provided for a Parochial Church Council to receive a small fee in respect of funeral services which took place at a crematorium or cemetery. Following work by the Archbishops’ Council undertook work, principally through its Remuneration and Conditions of Service Committee (RACSC), changes were introduced through the Parochial Fees and Scheduled Matters Amending Order 2019. This prescribed the framework for parochial fees payable for the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2024.
One of the changes made compared with previous practice was to allocate the whole fee payable for funerals taking place at a crematorium or cemetery to the DBF. The sum previously payable to the PCC was added to the fee payable to the DBF. The rationale behind these changes is given in para. 3 of GS 2331B.
Rationale for Change
The motion to be moved by The Revd Christopher Trundle on behalf of the London Diocesan Synod asks that a draft Order be brought before Synod to provide that, as before 2020, this sum be payable to the PCC rather than the DBF. Paras.5 and 6 of GS 2331A state:
“The argument for doing so is simple: the fee is the result of the ministry of parish clergy and lay ministers, not the DBF, and it should, therefore, be returned to the PCC. For the parishes where there are many funerals, and for those PCCs where even small sums of money make a significant difference, this minor amendment will be a great encouragement and an acknowledgment of ministry offered”.
If the motion is passed the Archbishops’ Council and the Business Committee would need to consider when a draft Amending Order could be brought before the Synod and when it might come into effect if subsequently approved by the Synod and then made by the Council. para.7 of GS 2331B. states “If this change were to be made DBFs would see a reduction in parochial fee income which would adversely affect their ability to meet their obligation to pay the stipends and associated costs of their stipendiary clergy unless PCCs receiving additional fee income increased their parish share contributions”.
General Synod’s view on this issue would assist in the preparation of a draft Parochial Fees Order to set the framework for parochial fees from the start of 2025.
[*] In terms of the priority given to DSMs, that proposed by the London Diocese will be considered, time permitting, after those from the Diocese of Oxford Future of Work (GS 2320A AND GS 2320B) and Clergy Pensions (GS 2330A and GS 2330B) to be moved by The Revd Dr Ian Paul (Southwell & Notts).