Parsonages

Parsonage Inspector

The Inspector, who is employed by the Representative Body but is based in the Diocesan Office, assesses the condition of parsonages and makes recommendations to the Board for repairs and improvements in close co-operation with Diocesan staff and clergy. The Inspector also generally oversees the disposal and letting of vacant parsonages and acquisition or construction of new parsonages.

The Inspector provides a house file for each property containing guidance on occupation, useful information about the facilities and equipment in the house and information relevant to visiting contractors. The file must be made available when requested, and must not be removed from the house at vacancy.


LIVING IN A PARSONAGE HOUSE – GUIDANCE FOR CLERGY


VACANCY PROCEDURE AND QUICK CHECKLIST

This procedure is devised for implementation at the time an incumbent gives notice of leaving their post, after which there are three possibilities:

1. Continued use within a Ministry Area

Responsibility for the care and inspection of the house and payment of bills falls to the parish/benefice/Ministry Area.

2.  Vacancy for other church use

Responsibility for the care and inspection of the house and payment of bills falls to the parish/benefice/Ministry Area.

3.  Vacancy for letting/disposal

Responsibility for the care and inspection of the house and payment of bills falls to the Property Board.

In cases 1 & 2 the Parsonage Inspector will require access to the house for inspection and to give access to contractors to carry out work approved by the Property Board.

In case 3 all keys must be collected and handed to the Parsonage Inspector.

EIG requires that all vacant parsonages are inspected twice weekly, in case 1 & 2, this can be shared between the parish/benefice/Ministry Area and the Parsonage Inspector, in case 3 all inspections are the responsibility of the Inspector.

During winter months, in cases 1 & 2 the parish/benefice/Ministry Area representatives and the Inspector can agree whether or not to drain down the house or to maintain a suitable level of heating having regard to the care of the house and running costs.

When a house is in the care of parish/benefice/Ministry Area, the cost of utility bills and grounds maintenance (custodian expenses) can be reclaimed from the Diocese at a set rate, advisable at the appropriate time.

See quick checklist below for actions of incumbents and churchwardens.

The following is a checklist of actions, duties and responsibilities for a house about to be or already vacated:

Clergy:

  • Advise the Diocesan Office of giving notice of vacancy as soon as possible
  • Confirm official moving date as soon as it is known
  • Ensure decorations are in good order, in compliance with Vacancy Inspection
  • Fill all redundant fixing holes and touch-in decorations, as above
  • Clear the house, loft and any outbuildings of all personal belongings and rubbish
  • Clean thoroughly the house and all equipment remaining
  • Report any remaining faults to house or fixtures/equipment
  • Tidy the garden and mow the grass, subject to time of year
  • Advise utility suppliers of moving date and take readings and advise where final bills are to be sent; DO NOT have utilities ‘cut off’
  • Set up post redirection service and cancel unwanted subscriptions
  • Arrange transfer of responsibility for bills to the parish/benefice/Ministry Area
  • Hand over all keys fully labelled for their use and advise the alarm code – to the Area Dean and/or Churchwarden, one set to be available for Diocesan Inspector
  • Identify the day and location for the collection of refuse

Churchwardens:

  • Check final meter readings
  • Ensure the house is clear and clean and the garden tidy
  • Take responsibility for keys
  • Liaise with the Diocesan Inspector with regard to access for works
  • Regularly check for post
  • Pay utility bills as they arise
  • Maintain the garden
  • During winter months maintain heating at a low level to help prevent deterioration of the interior of the house, ventilate the house whenever possible; or agree to drain down
  • Inspect the house once weekly internally and externally
  • Advise the Diocesan Inspector of any issues relating to the condition or security of the house and its grounds
  • Consider the installation of a water meter, particularly if the vacancy is expected to be lengthy, to save costs on water rates and to encourage water saving, notify Property Board
  • Costs relating to utility bills and garden maintenance can be reclaimed from the Diocesan Secretary as a rate to be advised periodically

 

CONTRACTOR INFORMATION AND CONTACTS