Monday, 28 March 2011

Help and advice needed.

At our last Local Preachers meeting the subject of expenses for local preachers came up and it seemed to be that we needed to review our position on this topic.

I have checked the Methodist Church website and note there are no guidelines for this and circuits generally make their own policy on it.

What I am looking for and I am sure one or two of my readers may have an idea, is what other circuits do in respect of this. I would be very grateful if any of you have a policy if you could let me know what it is by Wednesday of this week as it may come up at our Circuit Meeting on Thursday.

You can email me if you wish rather than commenting here

Many thanks


Richard Hall said...

In my last circuit, all preachers routinely received expenses. We had someone who went through the plan at the end of the quarter working out who should get what and sending the list to the circuit treasurer.

Fat Prophet said...

Thanks Richard, that sounds like an interesting concept and of course if an individual preacher doesn't want to claim expenses they can give the money back to the church.
I don't tend to claim expenses but some churches I go to give me a little envelope which I have to say I don't refuse as I was told that it may offend those who were giving it. I just accept it gracefully.

Steven Jones said...


Here in South Africa we also don't have a policy on Local Preachers receiving any amounts for expenses, and it is not a common practice.

My own view is that the "local" part of Local Preacher implies that the preacher concerned would be serving in their own local church. If we were to start paying Local Preachers, where then does it end? Society Stewards, Sunday School teachers, door stewards, etc. could then also justify claiming expenses, which to me goes against the spirit of serving God through the local church.

It might be a different story if a Local Preacher is called upon to conduct a service elsewhere in the Circuit. In such a case, it may then be proper to reimburse their travelling expenses on a per-mile basis (or actual cost if public transport is used). The South African Conference publishes a rate to be used for such reimbursements (which pertains to ministers' travel, but is widely used as a benchmark to cover e.g. Synod travel for lay delegates). Perhaps the British Conference has a similar rate-per-mile that could be used as a benchmark?


Rev Tony B said...

Sorry - didn't see this in time to help your LP meeting, but for future reference...

Most of the circuits I've been in have left it to LPs to claim expenses. Few have done so, as far as I know, but we've tried to make it clear that they can. We've discouraged local churches from paying expenses, on the grounds that not all are as able as others, and it should be a circuit expense not a local church expense (assuming the preacher has been planned by the super, rather than invited by the church - that can be treated differently).

Few preachers claimed expenses, in my experience. So one circuit made a point of saying thanks - we had a preachers' day conference in November every year in one of our village chapels which had a good hall, and had lunch together in the pub (which was very nice!), and the circuit paid half the bill as a thank you to the preachers.

Hope that helps, even after the discussion!