Brides who arrive late

Parochial fees, discounts and “extras”

On 4 January 2018, the Daily Telegraph carried the headline Church imposes £100 fine for brides who arrive late to their own weddings. Canon John Corbyn, vicar of Holy Cross Church Bearsted, Kent, was reported to have suggested the imposition of a “£100 fine for those who can not stick to their allotted time slot and arrive late to their service”.  Subsequently, it appeared as though he may have been slightly misrepresented; he told the BBC that what he does is to offer a £100 “cashback” for punctuality.

Regardless of the exact facts of this particular case, in view of the media interest it is pertinent to consider to whether, in general, such a surcharge or reduction in fees is permissible under ecclesiastical law; the answer appears to be: “sort of”.  Continue reading

Fees and “extras” for Church weddings and funerals

On Tuesday 16 February, General Synod debated a motion from the Worcester Diocese on Parochial Fees, (GS 2017A and GS 2017B) when the Venerable Nikki Groarke, Archdeacon of Dudley (Worcester) moved on behalf of the Worcester Diocesan Synod:

“That this Synod call on the Archbishops’ Council to exercise its powers under s.1 of the Ecclesiastical Fees Measure 1986 so that fees prescribed as payable to parochial church councils in respect of funerals and weddings should include any costs and expenses of providing a verger.”

The motion was lost on a show of hands and a second motion at item 13 on the agenda, which made a similar request in relation to the costs and expenses of providing heating, was not debated, the Synod agreeing to move to Next Business. Continue reading