This set of guidelines is intended to be a helpful tool for people in congregations who are responsible for working with supply clergy, as well as to serve as a resource for members of the clergy themselves...especially those who are new to a congregation. While many of the items below will not apply to all congregations, these guidelines attempt to "cover all the bases."
Please note: Section 2(a) of Canon 1, which follows, means that supply clergy may officiate at services for as many as 18 days in one year without a license. However, the guidelines for supply clergy compensation applies to all clergy, licensed or unlicensed.
The following information should be supplied to clergy:
1. Driving directions to the church (with approximate driving time). [Would a meeting between the supply priest and the rector/vicar be helpful, and would this provide a "dry run" to the church? Also the locations of bathrooms and the layout of the church, microphones, etc. could be determined.]
2. Time(s) of the Service(s).
3. Who will open and close the building, and at what hours? How can this person be reached by phone/email? [Should the supply priest have a key(s), just in case……?]
4. Who will be responsible for the lights and the heat?
5. Is there an amplification system, and who is responsible for its operation?
6. Where are an accessible telephone and telephone directory? Is a key needed for access?
7. What heated/air conditioned office may the supply priest use, especially between Services? Is there a breakfast between Sunday Services? Is there a refrigerator with juice available (especially for diabetics)?
8. Supply clergy should receive the Sunday leaflet by the Thursday before the Service(s). [faxed, emailed, snail mailed].
9. With regard to the Service(s):
a) Are church tower bells or nearby sirens likely to go off?
b) Are there persons likely to be in the congregation whose behavior is unconventional?
c) What vestments should be taken to the Church by the supply priest?
d) Which Rites? Eucharist and/or Morning/Evening prayer?
e). Who will count the worshippers and those receiving Communion, and who will record the data?
f) Will there be music? Is the officiant expected to sing the service music?
g) Are bells and/or incense used? What is the pattern for the bells? Can these be omitted, if the supply priest is unfamiliar with their usages?
h) Is genuflection customary? If so, when?
i) Is silence kept for a space after Readings?
j) What portions of the Service(s) will be led by others?
k) Will there be an acolyte(s)? Altar Guild? Chalice Bearer(s)?
l) Is there a greeting or a "Call to Worship" prior to the Opening Acclamation or Opening Sentences?
m) Is there a children's homily? If so, at what point?
n) Is there a special ceremonial for healing or for those with birthdays, anniversaries, etc.?
o) How is the Gospel read? [a procession, from the sanctuary, from the pulpit]
p) What sermon length is customary?
q) How is the Peace passed?
r) Who will make announcements, and when? [Supply clergy should not be asked to make several announcements, especially with unfamiliar names.]
s) How will the Celebrant know whether Communion needs to be taken to someone(s) in the pews?
t) Are Eucharistic Visitors commissioned to administer home communions after the Service? How and when is this done?
u) Who will be responsible for the safekeeping of the offering at each service?
10. What is the stipend? When will the stipend be paid, and by whom?
11. What are the names and phone numbers of the Wardens? In the absence of the rector/vicar, is the senior warden "in charge" of the congregation, and is (s)he an informed resource re liturgy in the congregation?
12. Are there building security issues between services? Who is responsible to be on hand for this precaution?
Canons Related to Supply Clergy
DIOCESE OF MAINE
CANON I - Of the Clergy
Section 2 (A). No Minister of this Church not canonically resident in the Diocese of Maine shall officiate on more than eighteen (18) days, whether consecutive or not, in any twelve (12) month period by preaching, ministering the Sacraments, or holding any public services within the limits of this Diocese until he or she has applied for and received from the Ecclesiastical Authority a license to so officiate. Such license, if granted, shall remain in effect until December 3l of the year following the year of its issuance, unless earlier revoked.
(B). Licenses shall, at the discretion of the ecclesiastical authority, be renewed from year to year for periods not to exceed one year. The ecclesiastical authority may establish requirements and procedures governing application for the issuance and renewal of licenses.
(C). No Minister not canonically resident or licensed in the Diocese shall be engaged to conduct services of this Church in any congregation during a vacancy therein, or in the absence of its Minister, without permission of the ecclesiastical authority or the authorized representative of the ecclesiastical authority.
(D). Every Minister licensed as provided in this Canon shall at the end of each calendar year report to the ecclesiastical authority services held, and if there have been none, the causes or reasons which have prevented the same. Such licensed clergy shall also make such further reports to the ecclesiastical authority as the ecclesiastical authority may require.
GUIDELINES FOR SUPPLY CLERGY
Diocesan Convention approved the following minimum fees for supply clergy for 2019. The same rates are proposed for 2020. Convention will vote on this in October of 2019:
One Sunday Service $150.00
Two Sunday Services $200.00
Other Liturgical Services $85.00
Pastoral or other assigned responsibilities $85.00 per unit*
* a unit is a morning, afternoon or evening
Expenses are reimbursed at cost for meals, lodging, telephone, etc., and at the IRS maximum approved rate for mileage. (2019 rate was 0.58 per mile; the 2020 rate will be released here by the IRS in January 2020)