Finance and Administration - Clergy

Budget (3 year Diocesan)

Central pay
For many years a central pay system has been in place to administer the cost of priestly services on behalf of parishes. The net payments to clergy are deposited biweekly in their bank accounts. Parishes may elect to have members of their lay staff (e.g. caretaker, organist, secretary) serviced in the same way. There is no administrative charge for this service, which is offered by the accounting department of the Synod office. The advantage to the parish is that the parish is relieved of calculating employer and employee salary deductions, of forwarding such deductions to the appropriate authorities, and of handwriting salary cheques.
ePost instructions follow-up

Compensation guidelines
The nature of parish ministry makes it impossible to set fixed hours of work; instead clergy must make provisions for adequate time off. Canon 4.09 states that the salary for stipendiary clergy is to be determined annually by the Bishop's Salary Panel. All clergy have a right to have their salaries reviewed in their presence by the panel, whose decision is final.

Bylaw B.4.05 defines the positions to which clergy may be appointed and sets out the details of remuneration and benefits for these positions. Clergy may be appointed as incumbents, assistant curates, priests-in-charge, deacons-in-charge, special licencees, diocesan staff members, chaplains, and other categories that might be established from time to time.

Clergy with previous related work experience may apply for credit. Application for Related Work Experience Credit. Guidelines for clergy making applications to the Salary Board are shown in the Clergy Personnel Policy's Annex 3.1.

See Chapter 3 of the Clergy Personnel Policy for compensation guidelines with respect to: stipendiary clergy; non-stipendiary clergy; supply ministry; part-time appointments with remuneration; housing (parish-supplied housing, housing allowance); transportation; and (in an annex) how to apply for related work experience credit.

Stipendiary Scales and Allowances
Published by the Synod office at the start of each year, this document (pdf) sets out current stipends based on levels of seniority, as well as allowances for travel and housing. The Progression Table (pdf) is a reference which indicates percentage increases that apply to individual stipends. In addition, rates are announced for supply ministry services and clergy per diems.

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Consolidated Trust Fund
The Consolidated Trust Fund (CTF) of the Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Ottawa is one of the Diocese's three separate funds. CTF holds and manages investments for parishes, Synod, third parties and for various cemeteries. Synod is a registered charitable organization and is exempt from income taxes.

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Contractor Agreement
Agreement between Owner and Contractor

This template has been prepared to facilitate the process of obtaining a written agreement with a Contractor chosen to undertake construction/repair work at your churches.

Why You Need a Written Agreement 
Oral agreements invite costly misunderstandings because there's no clear written statement of what the Contractor has agreed to do, how much you have agreed to pay, or what the two of you will do if a dispute arises.

These misunderstandings might be innocent -- you and the Contractor may genuinely remember your agreement differently -- or they may be intentional. Either way, it will be your word against the Contractor's. It's much safer to rely on a written document that clearly sets out the details of what has been agreed to.

A good, solid written Agreement is also the foundation for a positive renovation/construction experience for both the parish and the Contractor. It helps build confidence and the relationship.

More importantly, it helps to prevent misunderstandings and false expectations that can lead to a breakdown in the relationship and jeopardize the project.

When hiring Contractors, keep in mind there are special considerations that cannot be omitted from the Contractor agreement, apart from the obvious items such as the nature of the work and the price. Examples are warrantees, dispute resolutions, insurance issues, etc.

Members of the Property and Finance Committee have prepared the agreement template, with the expectation that parishes will use this kind of agreement when hiring a Contractor, thereby avoiding potential pitfalls and lessening the likelihood of complications and differing opinions.

Here's hoping the parish and the Contractor used will find it a solid guide.

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Employee Assistance Plan
The Employee Assistance Plan provides up to $350 per individual per calendar year for counseling. Active clergy are eligible for this assistance but parish employees are generally not covered. More information

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Equalized Cost of Priestly Services (ECOPS)
Equalization among parishes has long been an accepted principle and practice in the Diocese of Ottawa. Equalized Cost of Priestly Services (ECOPS), October 2015 (pdf) is a new assessment system, developed to strengthen our congregations, ministry, and mission. It replaces the system of equalization grants that was put in place during the 1970s when the diocese first moved to its central pay system. What's different about ECOPS?

With ECOPS, parishes pay for the cost of priestly services as a function of their share of the total diocesan cost of priest! ly services (excluding housing) and not as a function of their particular incumbent's stipendiary costs. The Parish Fair Share percentage under ECOPS is the three-year average of a parish's assessable income expressed over the total of all the parishes' net assessable income.

ECOPS enables clergy appointments to be guided principally by ministry gifts and their "fit" with a parish. With ECOPS our bishop is able to appoint senior, experienced clergy with particular gifts to any parish in the Diocese without affecting that parish's ECOPS payments.
Per Diem Clergy

Financial responsibilities of clergy
Managing Finances in the Parish Guidelines (October 2013) (pdf) is essential reading for all churchwardens and treasurers, because it is an indispensable reference source for all parish-based financial and administrative information.

Financial statements
Financial statements At the end of each fiscal year financial statements are prepared by the Synod, which are subsequently audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, for the:

Consolidated Financial Statements, Synod - 2014 (pdf)
CTF Financial Statements - 2014 (pdf)
Extension Fund Financial Statements - 2014 (pdf)

Parishes are responsible for their own annual financial reports, which should be audited under the terms specified in Bylaw B.5.02 Section 9, and also Regulation 5.06.

There are policies that parishes should be aware of, which if made use of, will entail dealing with the Property and Finance Committee. These are:

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Forms and advisories - Quick links
Please let the webmaster know if there are other forms you would like to find here.

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Group health, pension and benefit plans
The Diocese of Ottawa is a member of the group plans of the Anglican Church of Canada. These plans are administered by the Pension office of the Anglican Church of Canada, which is a separate entity within the national organization. In addition to administering two pension plans, the Pension office administers a long-term disability plan, a death benefit plan, a group employee benefits program, and the continuing education plan. It also administers endowment funds. The accounting staff at the Synod office in Ottawa handles all matters related to pensions and benefits within the diocese.

The General Synod Pension Plan (pdf) is a multi-employer defined-benefit plan that provides benefits based on a prescribed formula. All dioceses plus the national office, Church Army and other church organizations participate in the plan. Currently, there are approximately 2,000 contributing members, of which about 1,500 are clergy and 500 are lay employees. There are roughly 1,600 in receipt of a pension and of this number, approximately 600 are surviving spouses.

The Lay Retirement Plan is a defined-contribution plan whereby employers and employees contribute at a defined rate, usually a percentage of the employee's earnings; contributions are combined with interest to purchase a life annuity or a life income fund when the member retires. Members of this plan work in parishes, daycare centres, shelters and other church-run organizations. Lay employees in parishes may participate in the General Synod plan or the Lay Retirement Plan. The Pension Office also administers group insurance programs, which cover life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, extended health care, dental and vision care. Group benefits are insured by Manulife Financial.

The Long-Term Disability Plan (pdf) is a self- insured plan. All dioceses plus the national office, Church Army, parishes and other church organizations participate in the plan. There are currently over 2,000 contributing members and there are about 70 people receiving disability benefits.

The Death Benefit Plan is also a self-insured plan. All dioceses plus the national office, Church Army and other church organizations participate in the plan. There are about 2,000 members in this plan.

The Continuing Education Plan (pdf) is also administered by the Pension Office. The plan is mandatory for clergy and lay employees of diocesan offices and the national office. Employees do not contribute to the plan. The Diocese of Ottawa contributes $450 per annum. Members may use this money to take courses, to buy books or study materials, computer hardware and software. There are close to 2,500 members currently participating in the plan.

Manulife Group Benefit Program Booklet. This Benefit Booklet has been specifically designed with your needs in mind, providing easy access to the information you need about the benefits to which you are entitled.

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Housing and rectories
All full-time stipendiary clergy, incumbents and assistant curates may negotiate either to live in housing provided by a parish or to receive a housing allowance as part of their salary and provide their own accommodation (see Regulation 4.01 (n)).

All negotiations concerning housing are to be completed prior to the appointment being finalized. It is not possible for every appointment to provide both choices, and clergy must be willing to accept that the arrangement agreed to at the time of the appointment might be difficult to change subsequently. In the case of clergy who receive a housing allowance, there may be a requirement to live within an area agreed to prior to the acceptance of the appointment.
(Clergy Personnel Policy, Chapter 3)

The parish pays the incumbent's expenses for fuel, water, electricity, telephone services and internet services(for those living in rectories).
(Bylaw 5.03)

Rectory property tax
The Assessment Act of Ontario provides a partial (50%) exemption for church rectories as long as the priest is living there and it is adjacent to the church. Churches can file a Request for Reconsideration to have their assessment changed if they are not already receiving this reduction.

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Property, Liability, etc.
The diocese holds property insurance covering all parish and other diocesan buildings. This coverage for your parish is defined in the policy document issued each year to each parish. You will see from this, all the other types of perils for which a parish is covered. In addition to property coverage, the policy provides general liability insurance of $2 million covering all employees including voluntary workers while engaged in activities on behalf of the diocese or parish. Also included are $8 million "umbrella liability insurance", boiler insurance, employment practices, directors and officers insurance, and loss of income insurance. It is important to note that, in order to keep premium costs at an affordable level, deductibles at the parish level are $2,500. The diocese covers deductibles between $2,500 and $25,000 from its Insurance Reserve Fund.

All losses are to be reported to our current insurers, PBL Insurance Ltd., for monitoring purposes, and any major additions or deletions to buildings and contents are to be made known to them. The contact person is Robert Fournier at 613-746-4383, Ext. 410.

Third party liability insurance
Since the diocesan insurance policy does not cover third party liability actions and claims, please ensure that any person(s) or group planning to use a parish facility for an activity or event not organized by the parish obtain insurance coverage if they do not already have a policy. Further information on what events require such coverage is contained in a clarification document. We believe that this program offers great peace of mind to our parishes when offering their facilities for use by members of the community and to the individuals that will be using your facilities for their purposes.

Effective March 1st, 2015 the third party event insurance program, accessible to all parishes of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, is being handled by PBL Insurance Ltd in conjunction with Sports-Can Insurance Consultants Ltd.

Purpose of Coverage:
This insurance program offers liability insurance to third parties who are renting or using your facilities for an event, such as a meeting, reception, dance, etc. If someone was to become injured or if property damage was caused due to the event held, the third party may be found liable and may be responsible to provide compensation for the damage caused. It is important for the third party to be adequately protected against these devastating situations. This program offers an effortless and cost efficient avenue to obtain such insurance. Insurance under this program also protects your parish in the event that you suffer from property damage due to the use of your facilities and the third party is found liable.

Case Examples:
  1. A young couple (third party) rents the basement hall of your church to host their wedding reception. During the wedding reception, water is accidentally spilled on the floor and causes a guest to slip and become injured. The injured guest chooses to proceed with litigation against the couple for the injuries suffered. The couple's event insurance will respond to protect them.
  2. A quilting club uses your facility to have a quilting bee. One of the participants knocks over some candles while moving a quilt, causing a fire to your building. If the quilting club (third party) is found liable for causing the fire, the event insurance policy will respond, defend the claim for the damages to the building and pay resulting damages.

When a person or group not associated with your parish is about to rent or use your facilities (indoor or outdoor) for an event that your church is not sponsoring, you ask if they have "third party liability insurance for $2 million".
  • If the answer is yes, you request a copy of their insurance certificate, for your file.
  • If the answer is no, you should:
  1. Have them complete the one page application form. Click here if you want to refer to samples of applications.
  2. Based on the information provided, refer to the rating guide to determine the premium chargeable for the event insurance. If the event includes serving liquor, a host liquor application form and additional premium will apply. Note that an 8% provincial sales tax must be charged in addition to the premium calculated. If you have any questions regarding how to calculate the premium, please contact Theresa Arsenault at PBL Insurance Ltd.
  3. The calculation, payment and copy of the application are to be sent to PBL Insurance Ltd.
  4. In the event of a claim resulting from an event, please contact PBL Insurance Ltd. in order to report the claim.

Note: If the event is of a special nature, such as a sport event; or if you have questions, please contact one of the following PBL Insurance representatives:

Robert Fournier
Account Executive Manager
613-746-4383 ext. 410
cell: 613-769-1964
Theresa Arsenault Commercial Lines Account Manager 613-746-4383 ext. 419

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The Church Extension Fund provides loans to parishes for construction of new buildings, and the expansion or renovation of existing buildings. The Fund is administered by the Property and Finance Committee and therefore applications, with appropriate documentation, must be submitted through the Director of Administration. More information

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Parish Fair Share (PFS)
The Synod's operating budget is funded from various sources, such as investment income, grants, fees and contributions from all parishes. This last source of funding is known as Parish Fair Share, or PFS. The PFS formula has been designed to charge parishes based on each parish's ability to pay. In a nutshell, every parish reports its income for a given year, and then has that income reduced by very specific deductions, which results in an assessable income. This figure for each parish is the basis of the proportional percentage of the total of all parishes' net incomes.

The PFS calculation is based on the average of the parish's assessable income for the most recent three years. The purpose of averaging is to even out the anomalies that tend to create significant swings in some parishes' apportionment figures from one year to the next. Once these percentages are known, the Synod's budget is proportioned out to each parish.
Parish Fair Share Explanation

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Property and Finance Committee submissions
Parishes must obtain the approval of the Property and Finance Committee before withdrawing any significant amount from the Consolidated Trust Fund (CTF), undertaking any mid- to large-size capital projects, withholding a gift or bequest, or receiving a loan from the Church Extension Fund (CEF). The committee is also pleased to respond to other specific finance-related requests from the parish corporation i.e. churchwardens and incumbent. It meets usually on the second Wednesday of each month (July and August excluded). Your covering letter should summarize the request, clearly stating if it seeks
  • an approval for a project,
  • a withdrawal from the Consolidated Trust Fund,
  • permission to withhold a gift or bequest, or
  • some other decision

The deadline for submissions is:
• first Monday of the month (July and August excluded) at the Synod office

Before making a submission be sure to review the Application Form instructions and the before making a submission be sure to review the Application Form instructions and the Decision Rights details

Property Matters
The Canons, By-Laws and Regulations document is the foremost reference for matters associated with properties. To see the pertinent sections, please CLICK HERE

To quote from By-law B3.19 "The possession of all Church land and buildings, the Churchyard and any burying ground attached or belonging thereto, is vested in the Incumbent and Churchwardens for the time being, and the care of the property is therefore their joint responsibility". However, because of the ultimate ownership of the properties being the Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Ottawa, Regulation R.5.01 states that "Before calling a meeting of the Vestry to deal with any matter respecting lands and buildings.... the Incumbent and Churchwardens shall first consult with the Bishop to discuss any proposal before it is made to the Vestry".

Policies, procedures and guidelines have been put in place to help parishes understand what they have to do in cases where properties are involved, and also when financial issues related to property matters need to be addressed.

Before making a submission be sure to review the

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Retirement and resignation
Upon reaching the age of 65, members of the clergy are deemed as having submitted their resignation from any position to which they have been appointed by the bishop. Any subsequent reappointment or appointment is for one year at a time. Upon reaching 65, or if younger, upon completing 37 years of participation in General Synod's Pension Plan, a member of the clergy may retire with full pension from any position in the diocese, as appointed by the bishop.

If a priest does wish to continue working after the age of 65 in Ontario, there is some information with regard to pensions and benefits that needs to be considered. Here is that information.

Upon accepting a new appointment, a member of the clergy is deemed to have resigned from his or her current appointment. Clergy who wish to resign from an appointment for other reasons must do so by writing to the bishop.

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Support grants
Support Grant Application (doc file); (xls file)

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