When the Parish Priest leaves . . .
The Churchwardens and the Area Dean are joint sequestrators. This means they receive fees normally received by the parish priest.
Please note there is no fee for baptism, nor for the funeral of a child under 16.
Sequestration fees need to be accounted for separately.
Please contact the Lay Chair for support.
It is not always possible to cover all midweek services, especially when there are other vacancies in the Deanery. If similar services are available in neighbouring parishes then Churchwardens might wish to bear this in mind.
If no priest can be found to take a Eucharist then even if the parish normally holds a Eucharist a service of Morning Prayer can be held. The could be led by a Reader or a Churchwarden. Ask the Area Dean if you need help producing a service sheet.
Serving clergy (stipendiary or non stipendiary, parochial or non-parochial) are entitled to expenses, currently 45p/mile. Whenever a service is conducted by a Reader, the Reader is entitled to travelling expenses if s/he comes to you from another parish.
These expenses need to be accounted for and records kept.
Retired clergy claim FEES AND EXPENSES directly from the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) not the parish. You will be asked to sign a form to confirm they have taken a service.
The Diocesan Surveyor (Darren Bamford: 0161 828 1417) should be contacted as soon as a vacation date is known. Please read the meters on the first day the property is vacant. Ecclesiastical Insurance Group need to be informed when the vicarage is empty and require that it is kept locked and checked inside and out at least once a week.
During a vacancy Churchwardens, with the assistance of the Property Department, are responsible for the security and condition of the house. When the house is vacated a meeting will be arranged (with the wardens, the surveyor and possibly the Area Dean and the Chairman of the Property Committee) to view the property and assess its condition. The surveyor will provide advice. On no account should temporary occupation of the vicarage be allowed unless the Diocese formally lets the property.
Minor repairs are the responsibility of the parish, major repairs need to be discussed with the Property Department. The DBF will reimburse reasonable gas and electricity charges.
Once the vicarage is vacant it is exempt from water rates (United Utilities should be informed) and Council Tax if it is held vacant for a minister of religion (the Local Authority should be informed).
PCC meetings should continue as usual, chaired by the Vice-Chairman. If the Interregnum continues during the time of the APCM this should be chaired by the Vice Chairman as well, although the Archdeacon and/or Area Dean may be invited.
Quarterly returns and marriage certificates need to be filled in by a clerk in holy orders. Ask the Area Dean for help with these.
These need to be maintained during the interregnum and signed by all clergy/Readers taking a service.
The Share is the contribution of the cost of ministry in the Diocese and should be payed when a parish is in a vacancy as well as when it is not.
The Area Dean is available for advice and support.