To make sure part-time clergy are remunerated fairly, the Diocese has a system of “units” of work. A “unit” is a morning, an afternoon or an evening. The rate is adjusted annually by the same cost-of-living percentage as the clergy stipend increase.
Reasonable reimbursement of travel expenses should be provided if the appointment includes travelling and visiting. Travel doesn’t include commuting between church and home. Travel expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with diocesan policy. The current rate is $0.61 for the first 5,000 km and $0.55 thereafter.
The annual Clergy Remuneration Information Memo contains information on minimum stipends, unit rates, benefits, deductions, travel rates and statistical comparisons. This document is posted on the diocesan website every November, and the churchwardens, treasurers and clergy are notified in Bulletin Board. For 2023 the unit rate is $115.05.
Previous unit rates:
- 2022: $111.70
- 2021: $108.45
- 2020: $108.45
- 2019: $106.43.
- 2018: $104.14
- 2017: $102.00
If the services for the day require a sermon, a unit is required for preparation plus a unit for delivery. If a second sermon with a different set of lections is required, or the time required is significantly more than three hours, an additional unit must be paid. For example, Sunday morning:
|Service(s) *||no sermon||1 unit|
|Service(s) *||same sermon||2 units|
|More than one service||different sermons||3 units|
* An early-morning said Eucharist alone doesn’t normally qualify for 1 full unit. In the case of Sunday supply, travel expenses to and from the church should be reimbursed, whether the individual travels by personal vehicle, public transit or cab.
Honorary assistants are appointed by the bishop on the recommendation of the incumbent. They may work 1-6 units per week. Their duties may include assisting at services, pastoral visiting and leading study groups. Allow preparation time for the sermon or study group, as well as for other “hidden” work.
Before the appointment of an honorary assistant, they and the parish should agree on the number of units to be worked. An evaluation of the ministry will take place before the annual vestry meeting, and the contract may then be renewed or not.
The parish will pay a maximum of six units per week. Stipend for work beyond this will be negotiated in accordance with the usual stipend scale. Some deductions for benefits, etc. may be required.
The duties of an interim priest will be determined at the time of appointment. They may range from one Sunday service to a maximum of seven units. Reimbursement at the per-unit rate has been calculated to compensate for the fact that benefits aren’t paid. If more time is needed, the bishop will negotiate reimbursement, apportioned to the time the cleric is working. Some deductions may be required.
Lay readers & theological students
If a lay reader or theological student is providing Sunday supply coverage for a priest-in-charge or incumbent, they should be paid at the current clerical unit rate.