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Pots, kettles, and the Living Wage

14 December 2012


From the Revd Anne Le Bas

Sir, - I hate to break this news to the assistant priest who wrote about the unfairness of the amount that he or she receives for funerals etc. in the light of the General Synod debate on the Living Wage (Letters, 7 December), but, as an NSM, he or she was never entitled to receive any of the fees for taking such services.

For a curate, in any case, the fees formed part of the stipend of the vicar (probably assigned to the diocese), and should simply have been passed on; but no NSM is entitled to receive fees of any kind (expenses are, of course, payable).

Retired stipendiary priests have been able to receive a proportion of fees for occasional offices, but NSMs have never had this provision. The "NS" of "NSM" is the clue: non-stipendiary means what it says.

The writer may or may not feel that this is fair, but it is, and always has been, the case. If this was not explained during the discernment or training process for ordination, then someone somewhere fell down in their job.

The Vicarage, Church Street
Sevenoaks TN15 0AR


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