MARRIAGE FEES (from 1 February 2015)
Marriage Service (including fee for Publication of Banns):
Ministry Fee (payable to the officiating minister) £180
Church Fee (payable to the PCC): £240
Total Fee £ 420
Where Banns are called outside the parish where the marriage service will take place Publication of Banns (to include certificate of Banns):
Ministry Fee: Nil
Church Fee: £35
Total payable: £35
The outgoing fee structure for marriages has been simplified further. In addition, fee levels have been subject to a comprehensive review as a result of which fees relating to marriages have been increased for 2015 above the rate of inflation.
From 2015 the level of marriage fees is set across the Province. In the past the Bench of Bishops has informed clergy of “suggested maximum” marriage fees each year.
What has happened to the fee for the publication of Banns?
Arrangements for the fee for the Publication of Banns have changed in two ways. First, this fee has been included in the Marriage Service fee where Banns are called in the parish where the marriage service is to take place. Where Banns are called outside the parish in which the marriage will take place, a separate fee may be charged. Secondly, to help parishes to meet general administrative costs (not necessarily those related to marriages), in future fees for the Publication of Banns and the issuing of a Certificate of Banns at the time should be paid to the Parochial Church Council, rather than to the officiating minister. This represents a change from previous Church in Wales practice.
Why have marriage fees increased by more than inflation for 2015?
The Representative Body has conducted a major review of fee levels. In doing so, it has aimed where possible to reflect both the cost of ministry (that is, the cleric’s time and expertise) and the use of the building in setting the level of fees. It has been possible for marriages to draw on recent work carried out by the Church of England; it is felt that the Church of England represents an appropriate comparator for the Church in Wales, as the costs of ministry and buildings maintenance are very similar in both Churches. Comparisons have also been made with charges made by other providers in Wales, such as hotels and Register Offices. However, in practice like-for-like comparisons with such organisations are difficult as the services provided are often so different from those 10 provided by the Church in Wales. It is also noted that clergy normally devote considerably more time to preparation for weddings than Civil Registrars, and the costs of maintaining buildings such as Register Offices are not comparable. In addition, it needs to be borne in mind that other denominations in Wales do not have the same duty to marry as the Church in Wales, and in most cases Church in Wales clergy have additional legal responsibilities to ministers from other churches. For these reasons it is felt that the Church of England is the most realistic body with which comparisons might be made, and the Church in Wales marriage fees for 2015 have been set at a very similar level to those in the Church of England. However, these fees will be reviewed annually by the Representative Body, and so in time the fee levels in Wales may differ from those in England.