Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do we need to make a Parish Offer during a clergy vacancy?
Please click here for the answer.
2. What do I do with parochial fees?
Parochial fees are those fees payable for wedding, baptisms, funerals, cremations and burials. The level of fee is set by the Church of England, and an element of this is payable to the Diocese. The part of the fee due to the Diocese does not form part of the Parish income. The fee should be submitted to the Diocese on a monthly basis using a standard form. More details can be found on the Fees: Weddings and Funerals page of the website.
3. What is the PCC's Charity Commission number?
If the income of a PCC is over £100,000 it should be registered with the Charity Commission. If the income is less than £100,000 the PCC is treated as an 'exempt' charity and does not have a Charity Commissioner number. If a PCC is asked for its governing document, the following reply should be given: PCC's are governed by statute under "The PCC Powers Measure 1956''.
The PCC will have an Inland Revenue Charity Number if it submits claims for the recovery of Income Tax on Gift Aid donations.
4. What is a restricted fund?
A restricted fund consists of donations given for a particular parochial purpose. These donations, together with any tax recovery if they are given under Gift Aid, must be held separately and shown separately in the PCC annual accounts. The most common type of restricted fund is a "Fabric" fund. Please click on the link to obtain further guidance on different types of funds and accounting for different types of funds.
5. The PCC has a deposit account with the local bank but it pays very low interest, are there any alternatives available?
The Church of England encourages its Parishes to use the Central Board of Finance for its short term deposits as this gives a higher rate of interest than any local bank and will make the funds available on request.
6. What is an Annual Report?
An Annual Report is the written report that accompanies the annual accounts giving information about the activities of the Parish for year under review. Further guidance can be found here.
7. Is there a difference between a 'designated' fund and a 'restricted' fund?
Yes, a designated fund is where a PCC may decide to put some General Fund money aside into another fund for a particular use, e.g. for building repairs. This means the PCC can move amounts back into the General Fund when the repairs are completed, i.e. re-designate or un-designate the fund. A restricted fund can only be used for its named purpose.
8. Who can be an Independent Examiner?
An independent person who has no connection with the PCC and who is reasonably believed by the PCC to have the requisite ability and practical experience to carry out a competent examination of financial statements. Further infomation can be found in Chapter 11 of the PCC Accountability book.
9. How to account for the following in PCC books & records:
10. How to treat payments for administrators, cleaners, organists, bell rings etc.
The critical point to establish is whether someone is employed or self-employed. The Parish Resource website contains a wealth of guidance in this area, in particular the section on 'Paying people'. The question as to whether someone is self-employed is one that is answered by an examination of the facts/circumstances, rather than a decision by the PCC. If you require further clarification please do get in touch with us by e-mailing Kate Bayliss.