From the Revd Anne Le
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,
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
ANNE LE BAS
The Vicarage, Church Street
Sevenoaks TN15 0AR