Option 1 – Updating the current system
Currently Parish Share is calculated by essentially using two factors
Adult attendance at Sunday services
The Socio economic condition of the parish.
In this system congregations are assumed to be typical of the age and income of the parish. Those in the least deprived areas will be asked to pay 3 times as much per head than those in the more deprived and growing congregations are expected to pay more. We introduced a minimum share in 2013 but we have no maximum.
The proposal is to use the same basic calculation whilst modifying some of the methodology. So attendance will include a measure to take in account midweek attendance. We would also move to look at an average attendance over 5 years to smooth out growth or decline and reduce the annual impact. We will continue to use the government’s Indices of Multiple Deprivation but will reflect the current data – this will still focus on the parish not congregation members’ income data. We would also look at capping reductions and increases, raise the Minimum Parish Share threshold and introduce a Maximum Parish Share cap. And we will slightly revise the way in which attendances are averaged out.
Effectively this is a slightly modified version of what exists. It aims to reflect changes in the way church is organised and smooth out some of the factors that provide distortions to the exiting system.
Option 2 – alternative deanery based system
The aim for this is a flexible system which enables deaneries to decide how many stipendiary clergy they wish to deploy and how much each parish would contribute to the cost. It is still a system of mutual support with the contribution required for an incumbent linked to the socio economic information about that parish.
This system is based on 3 pieces of information
Deanery decision on the number of clergy they deploy
Socio-economic conditions of the Deanery
How the national Church Commissioner funding is applied to the deanery.
There will be six steps to the process
1) We set a standard cost per stipendiary incumbent (currently £56,000 per year)
2) We work out the socio-economic cost of each deanery
3) We work out the number of Church Commissioner funded posts per deanery
4) We work out the cost of each stipend for the deanery
5) The deanery decides how many stipendiary clergy it needs
6) Guided by their mission and pastoral committee the parishes and deanery work together to decide how much each parish contributes.
This is new ground. It continues with our commitment to devolve decision making and we will give plenty of support to help deaneries and parishes work through the system. We believe it makes a clearer link between the deployment and payment of clergy in a local area.
Any change to the system will have an impact. For some parishes this will be greater than others so we will have a system of transitional relief to smooth the impact.