Organist’ s contract

I am hoping some Cof E Organists / Directors of Music can help, please.

What would be the normal procedure in the case of a DoM whose employment at a church began under a previous incumbent?
There is now a new incumbent,
The PCC has decided that his fees for occasional offices are too high.
The new incumbent has amended his requirements of the organist/ DM, though not by reducing his number of services.
Is a new contract needed for any / all of these reasons?

I understand that legally the PCC is the Employer, though the Incumbent has overall responsibility and will be the one to sign any contract.
I have read a lot on the RSCM website but cannot find answers to these specific questions. Hoping for some advice.
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Comments

  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    WARNING: IANAL, and this is as good a place to get advice about brain surgery as to get legal advice!!

    The original contract is legally binding. Any variation needs to be by negotiation. Even if the contract gives power to the incumbent and PCC to vary fees/terms etc. unilaterally, it would be (IMO) unwise to do so.

    Some organist contracts are contracts of employment, and if that is the case here, the PCC needs to take into account not only the terms of the contract, but also the requirements of employment legislation.

    If the PCC is a party to the contract, then they have legally agreed to the level of fees being charged, and (morally) need to think carefully about going back on that agreement. If the church is affiliated with RSCM, it may be possible to obtain some guidance about fees from them.

    It will be helpful if the PCC is able to give attention to the power issues at play here, and the power imbalance in its favour. It is hard to propose reducing what you are planning to pay someone without implicitly criticising their performance, or even suggesting you want rid of them.

    A careful and gracious approach could have a good outcome all round, a clumsy or insensitive approach could result in one of those dreadful Vicar/organist/PCC stories, and be damaging to the life of the church for months or years to come.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    Puzzler wrote: »
    I am hoping some Cof E Organists / Directors of Music can help, please.

    What would be the normal procedure in the case of a DoM whose employment at a church began under a previous incumbent?
    There is now a new incumbent,
    The PCC has decided that his fees for occasional offices are too high.
    The new incumbent has amended his requirements of the organist/ DM, though not by reducing his number of services.
    Is a new contract needed for any / all of these reasons?

    I understand that legally the PCC is the Employer, though the Incumbent has overall responsibility and will be the one to sign any contract.
    I have read a lot on the RSCM website but cannot find answers to these specific questions. Hoping for some advice.

    First up, I AM NOT A LAWYER AND THE ORGANIST/DoM NEEDS TO GET INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE.

    Now, to your questions:
    1. The change of incumbent is not relevant: the contract agreed with the previous holder of the office holds good unless it is mutuallyagreed that another should be negotiated, drawn-up, signed and implemented. And since church council membership changes and they operate under the (at least nominal) chairmanship of the parish priest, all such contracts are between the musician and the parish in the person of the priest: in other words, the PCC don't come into it.
    2. See my point above about the contract: it is not up to the PCC to declare fees for occasional services as too high (or too low, for that matter); it is for the musician to discuss and agree with the parish priest. In any case, if the parish is affiliated to the RSCM they publish suggestions on fees for weddings, funerals and other special services.
    3. If the new incumbent has changed what is required of the DoM then these changes first need to be agreed by the musician, then they should be noted and added to the original Contract as a formal Amendment.
    4. If the amendment has not altered the number of services or rehearsals this may mean that the original contract still holds good, but the addition of something like responsibility for a music group, with additional rehearsal, needs to be agreed, spelled out and if it is in addition to previous duties a change of remuneration may be in order.
    5. The RSCM won't release details about suggested remuneration unless a parish is affiliated.

    A word of caution on the RSCM fees/remunation guidelines: They use terms such as significant musical resources which are open to interpretation: for example, I know of a parish which mounts an annual Messiah plus another oratorio - both with orchestra - a Fauré Requiem in November and regularly sings in cathedrals yet whose PCC still thinks it falls into the category of having modest musical resources!

    Reading your post I wonder whether or not there aren't people on your PCC who have an agenda here? Just thinkin' :wink:
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Absolutely right in your last assumption, TheOrganist.
    Thank you, and thank you BroJames, for your most pertinent comments.
    The choir is RSCM Affiliated and we were told that the figures are still with the guidelines.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Within the guidelines. (Edit button not working)
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Posting simply to draw the attention of @Piglet , who may have some advice.

    My only advice is to find someone who the new incumbent likes and trusts and discuss this topic as innocently as possible with the legal concerns. You telling him this could well backfire on everyone.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    Puzzler wrote: »
    Absolutely right in your last assumption, TheOrganist.
    Thank you, and thank you BroJames, for your most pertinent comments.
    The choir is RSCM Affiliated and we were told that the figures are still with the guidelines.

    I wouldn't rely on being "told" that the figures are within guidelines. I know that when fees are discussed for the person who covers for me when I'm away (not often but it does happen) the fees are set in consultation with the PP, Treasurer at a PCC meeting using the RSCM leaflet, a copy of which is circulated to everyone present.

    In relation to fees for weddings, you need to decide whether you are going to simply double fees only when a professional recording is made or, bearing in mind the prevalence of recording opportunities afforded by smart-phones, adjust the normal fee for all weddings to take account of this. My own church has followed the latter path: a separate recording is only payable for a professional recording and that fee goes to the church.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I understand that the organist has informed the choir that he will not sign the new contract he has received in the post ( so the old one still stands ) and that he expects any changes to be properly discussed and negotiated with him.

    If this does not happen, I think it is likely that he will resign.
  • ThunderBunkThunderBunk Shipmate
    Organists are professionals, not endentured slaves.
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Sounds like the new incumbent has an even bigger agenda than you thought.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Hmm
  • Always bear in mind we are only hearing one side of the story ….
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    There are no sides, as far as this query is concerned on this forum. I originally asked for information, which I have received. Many thanks.
    A pity the guy on the PCC who insisted on investigating the figures for fees is not fully conversant with the facts of the matter. He certainly has an agenda and is trying to wield power, particularly in this instance, as the new incumbent has no interest in music and has never previously been in a church with a paid organist.
    I just wanted to be better informed.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    OK.

    On the subject of fees for "occasional" services you are going to find wide variations and of course some will be because of geography - you can expect to pay more for organists and singers in London, for example, than in any other metropolis.

    As a rough guide, a suitably competent organist should expect to be paid £100+ for a funeral without choir; £120-£150 if there is a choir to be conducted.

    For weddings, a decent organist should get £120-180 if there is no choir; £150-£200 is there are singers.

    Amateur singers should be offered a minimum of £5 to sing at a funeral or wedding. In my own church we offer a choir for £120 made up of 8 adults @ £10 each, 4 children @ £5 with the remaining money going to the music fund. Some of the adults choose to donate all or part of their fee to the fund but that cannot be imposed - petrol is expensive.

    Before anyone starts to foam at the mouth, the average high street wedding dress in the UK now coming in at nearly £800, and that doesn't include veil, shoes, etc, etc, etc.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Thank you. We are certainly in line with this.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    edited July 9
    Puzzler wrote: »
    I understand that the organist has informed the choir that he will not sign the new contract he has received in the post ( so the old one still stands ) and that he expects any changes to be properly discussed and negotiated with him.

    If this does not happen, I think it is likely that he will resign.

    I'm not an employment lawyer, and I don't practice in the UK, but what you're describing here looks to me like what we would call constructive dismissal in Canada. You might want to get advice on that particularly, as generally speaking that can get very expensive for the employer, if a court finds that it happened.

    Needless to say the PCC should also be thinking about the likely damage to the music program, and possibly the parish as a whole, if a competent music director is forced to leave for reasons that would make it unlikely for another competent person to want the job. These kinds of missteps can effectively wipe out a church's music program in the worst case scenario.

  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I agree with both your conclusions, Marsupial.
    However, the music director is more likely to just leave quietly, I am sure, rather than take it to Tribunal, though he would rather stay under the old T & C.
    And I guess our new incumbent will welcome a change of direction, musically.
    There is bound to be collateral damage, however.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host
    Lily Pad wrote: »
    Posting simply to draw the attention of @Piglet , who may have some advice.
    I think you may be overestimating my usefulness there, LP - I'm only the wife of an organist! D. hasn't signed up for the New Ship™ yet, but I'll be happy to draw this thread to his attention.

    Also, it's a very long time (almost 40 years) since he was employed by the CofE - his work since then has been in Scotland, Ireland and Canada.
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    And it may not be completely clear whether the contract is a contract of employment with the relevant statutory safeguards, or a contract for services, which gives greater freedom to the organist, but fewer safeguards.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I am not absolutely certain but I believe it is the former.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host
    I've spoken to D. about this thread, and he agrees that taking legal advice would be the wisest course; there are lawyers around who specialise in cases like this.

    Whatever course the organist chooses, I hope it works out well for him, the choir and the church.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Thank you, Piglet, and all who advised.
    There will be no further news for some time. Hopefully it will be favourably resolved.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    Two things I forgot:
    What has the person who does the PAYE payroll for the organist been told? That might be illuminating.
    Is the organist being paid at the proper rate or at the new, reduced rate: if the latter he/ she should send a formal letter requesting the remainder of their salary within 14 days.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Interesting. The organist invoices the Treasurer. He will no doubt out in his next monthly pay invoice at the old agreed rates. It remains to be seen whether they will be paid in full.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    If your organist invoices your treasurer then he isn't an employee: this is puzzling since the first ruling that organists should be regarded as employees came in 2008 and this was confirmed by the CofE - the relevant thing is Canon B20. And that could/ should be good news for your organist when it comes to his status as an employee and the actions your have described previously to do with reducing his remuneration without discussion. I'm very surprised this seems to have escaped the notice of your organist since it was much talked of at the time, as you can see from this.

    But while the sorting out of employment status was greeted with enthusiasm because it should have meant an end to situations where incumbents just sack their organist for no good reason, it wasn't such good news when it came to tax.

    Organists and parishes were given 5 years to sort things out but the introduction of Real Time tax reporting has meant that since 2013, unless your organist has been able to make a compelling case (which is doubtful) then he/she and your parish have been flouting the law by not having a proper PAYE system for them, even if they're paid insufficient for it to be taxable, and reporting for NI purposes. The only possible exception would be if your organist could prove that he/ she is (a) part of a consortium of local players, and (b) they all play at other churches to such an extent that no one particular church can be regarded as being "theirs". It is going to be very difficult to prove this because HMRC will want to see the legal agreement that formed the company/consortium, records detailing all services they have supplied organists for, etc, etc, etc. Beware, if even one of them is officially described as Organist of St X or listed in a parish magazine as Director of Music for x or similar then HMRC will see this as proof of employment status. Performing with other groups as a freelance or giving recitals doesn't change the situation, it just means that income from such is separately taxed under Schedule E. Weddings and funerals at the church where the organist plays regularly can be classed as Schedule E but only if the genuine possibility exists of another player being brought in.

    What you describe with your organist seems to be a complete can of worms: it seems neither your organist nor your Incumbent or Treasurer are up-to-date with what has been going on for church musicians.

    He really needs to take independent advice PDQ but in the meantime try looking on the web for some guidance. There is this from the ISM and the CofE issued guidance in October 2013 (late as ever) which can be found here.

    Your chap needs advise fast. However, since it would seem the PCC, new incumbent and treasurer are equally ignorant of the legal and tax situation, he may be able to use this to his advantage... :smile:
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    As both the ISM and Church of England guidance make clear, the new reporting rules do not affect whether an organist is to be regarded as employed or self-employed. The Church of England guidance gives useful advice in discerning the answer. (The links to ISM advice from their page on Church organists don’t work for me, but I think that’s because you have to pay up and sign in to access them.)

    As the Church of England guidance states
    the employment status of an individual depends in every case on the particular facts of the arrangement. What the parties call their relationship, or what they believe it to be, is not conclusive – it is the reality of the relationship that counts. Nevertheless, the intention of the parties must be taken into account and can be decisive where the relationship is ambiguous or where other factors are neutral
    It was a surprise for some PCCs and some organists that their contractual arrangements were in fact employment contracts, and not just contracts for services. As the advice notes,
    Organists may be employed or self-employed depending on the terms of their engagement. Some publicity was given to the decision of an employment tribunal in 2008 that an unnamed organist was an employee and there have since been further cases where the tribunal came to a similar conclusion. However, each of these decisions is dependent on its particular facts and creates no binding precedent.
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    The organist may need to take legal advice for his own protection. The PCC should also be clear about what it is doing. The incumbent needs the PCC’s agreement, and it is the PCC that will be liable if a successful claim is made for breach of contract or unfair dismissal.
    Under Canon B20, the power of appointing and terminating the appointment of any organist, choirmaster or director of music is exercisable by the incumbent with the agreement of the PCC (unless, in the case of termination of an appointment, the archdeacon directs that the agreement of the PCC should be dispensed with).
    [my emphasis]
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    IME the tool published by HMRC to help determine whether or not an organist should be regarded as an employee comes up with the answer that they should 100% of the time.

    There may well still be a few organists and parishes out there who think they have it all sewn up that their organist can still be regarded as freelance, but those I personally knew who tried that were told by HMRC that this was not the case.

    The guidance notes issued by the CofE was not particularly good on this issue; equally their response since has been strikingly unhelpful to parishes, many of which have had to organise for themselves proper payroll procedures for the first time.

    To satisfy HMRC that your organist playing job doesn't render you an employee is incredibly difficult: it has nothing at all to do with how much other freelance work or teaching you may do and everything to do with the number of Sundays worked and how the post is perceived by the parish.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Thank you for the additional information.
    I am unable to add anything as I do not have detailed knowledge of the situation. I am just a PCC member with a keen interest in music and liturgy, as well as one who tries to make sure, as far as I am able, that we dot the i s and cross the t s.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I have now received further information from the organist, including a copy of his original 2013 contract, and have done some more reading myself. Thanks for the various points raised by several of you.
    The organist is post-retirement age, so does not pay NI. I know nothing of his pension/ tax arrangements, but I do not think they are a cause for concern.
    On the other hand, I do believe that the contract is a contract of employment, so legally he could have a case for constructive dismissal. I am pretty certain this is not a course of action he would consider. He could easily find other churches who would be delighted to snap him up.
    But there are principles involved.
    I am trying to get my head round the controversy.
    The controversial figures revolve primarily around weddings. As you will know, there was a basic organist’s fee, which is increased if a recording is made, 50% for an audio and 100% for a video. When it became apparent that many guests were recording wedding ceremonies on their phones, the decision was taken by the previous incumbent in 2013 to routinely double the organist’s fee to £130 to cover this, as it was not something which could be either pre-arranged or prevented. I believe this is standard C of E practice nowadays.
    This was not apparent at the PCC meeting where the new figures were approved. We were led to understand that the wedding fee had been increased from £65 to £135. The new figure approved was a basic fee of £107.50 for a wedding and £70 for a funeral. So a reduction of £ 17.50 per wedding.
    We were led to understand that the organist had been overpaid, by asking for too much in his wedding invoices. No mention was made of any additional recording fee. I am certain nobody was aware of this aspect.

    Furthermore, During a very lengthy interregnum, the Church Wardens agreed to an increase of £5 per service for weddings and funerals, and an increase in stipend, as this had not been reviewed annually for two and a half years. These increases have been declared “illegal” as they were not authorised by the PCC, and have been withdrawn. ( though not clawed back). I don’t have figures to hand.

    The organist feels that his character has been vilified, and it is this, more than the money, which has really upset him.

    As the organist has responded to the letter he received after the PCC decision, this will be on the agenda at the next meeting in September.

    Personally I do not think that the CWs were wrong to agree an increase during a long interregnum when annual reviews had not taken place and nor did they need the approval of the PCC to do so, though I am open to correction.
    I certainly don’t think the organist was wrong to ask for a review, nor was he wrong to accept the increase.
    As for the new contract, as far as I am aware only the dates, figures and incumbent’s name are different. As the original one referred to any successors, and to annual reviews, I cannot see that there was any need for a new contract, or for the PCC to be involved, and so in my opinion the organist is right not to accept it.
    It seems to me that the new incumbent could and should resolve the issues before the PCC meets again. But maybe he is content to let the organist go ( and probably the choir as well).
    Apologies for the long post.
  • What a tangle!.

    ISTM that what needs to be resolved/ understood are the following:

    1. The original contract is still in force. A change of incumbent has no bearing on this, and a new contract cannot (must not) be imposed without discussion and mutual agreement.

    2. The situation that has been in place for payment (with the organist issuing an invoice) is against the law. Whether or not either the PCC or the organist like it or not, the situation is that HMRC regard him as an employee and his remuneration under the terms of his contract must be paid through a bona fide PAYE scheme that complies with HMRC's Real Time Reporting requirement. This is not something that can be argued about, this is the law of the land.

    3. If the organist advertises his services in other places and undertakes a significant amount of work in other churches playing for weddings and funerals then it may be possible for it to be argued that this part of the money he receives from being your organist is earned as a freelance. However, that position is only tenable if (a) there is a genuine opportunity for wedding couples and bereaved families to bring their own player; (b) there is no reference anywhere to the church's "own" organist having first refusal for these services; and (c) the organist has never at any time since he began work at the church received a fee for a service at which he did not play.

    You all need to get some proper, up-to-date advice on this PDQ. If you are affiliated to the RSCM give them a call; otherwise look on the web.

    I cannot stress enough that the situation with your organist issuing an invoice while he has a contract is no longer possible under HMRC rules. If either party trys to insist that this situation continue then you both - organist and church - risk incurring a heavy fine; while you may still be penalised once the situation is regularised, HMRC are likely to take a far more generous view if you put it right now, rather than trying to argue for something that should have been stopped some years ago.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Wow! Thanks for this reply.
    Does this really apply to someone past retirement age if their only income + SRP is under the tax threshold?
    As far as I am aware the Treasurer goes through the correct procedures for the cleaner who is of working age , so she should know about this.
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    The fact that someone is past ‘retirement age’ is no indication as to their employment status. While there is some useful guidance online (e.g. here and here - selected because membership/ subscription is not required) you probably ought to get your own legal advice.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Thank you for these links, BroJames. I had read these two articles before but I am grateful for the links, and the information in them.
    Our organist tells me he has various sources of income so he completes self-assessment for HMRC. I see here that the PCC is wrong not to do PAYE, however.
    Just to clarify, I am not individually affected by this debacle, so I shall not be seeking legal advice myself.
    Whilst I absolutely want to support our organist/ DOM, as a PCC member I wear another hat as well. Rather uncomfortably, at the moment.
    I am really appreciative of all the help I have received in this thread.
  • As a PCC member you may have a legal liability for situations where the PCC has not complied with the law, particularly if you knew about it, but IANAL (I am not a lawyer).
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Point taken, thanks.
  • Puzzler wrote: »
    Wow! Thanks for this reply.
    Does this really apply to someone past retirement age if their only income + SRP is under the tax threshold?
    As far as I am aware the Treasurer goes through the correct procedures for the cleaner who is of working age , so she should know about this.

    Yes, it applies whether your organist is 14, 40 or 94: if they are being paid for doing a job then it has to be reported to HMRC under the Real Time reporting rules regardless of whether or not they pay NI, hit the tax threshold, have other employment, whatever.

    If your treasurer is up-to-date on this it should be very simple for them to add the organist to the parish's payroll.

    To be blunt, because it is the law of the land if your organist tries to insist that what you describe as the current arrangement remain in place then that would be grounds to terminate his contract because you cannot allow someone to force the PCC to break the law. And any member of the PCC who may feel that they should back the organist in these circumstances might render either themselves as an individual, or maybe even the PCC as a body, liable under the law for any fine or sanction.

    Going onto the other matter of whether or not it was within the remit of the PCC to take a decision to raise the remuneration of the organist: of course it was, because it is the parish, not the incumbent, who pays the organist. Any attempt on the part of the new incumbent to roll back that decision and return to a lower rate of remuneration would not only be unfair, but would be to directly and unilaterally go against a proper and lawful decision made by the churchwardens on behalf of the PCC in a perfectly proper manner when there was no incumbent.

    It strikes me that the root of all this is that the whole situation of employing an organist, fixing remuneration, occasional fees, etc, etc, etc, has been allowed to go on in a way that has been acceptable for decades (or longer) but which the modern world now says is not acceptable. We can all of us hark back to earlier times and think that it was much simpler then, but equally we now have protections which used not to be available.

    Now is the time for everyone involved to bite the bullet, get hold of up-to-date and accurate information, and act upon it; it will be to the benefit of all if that happens sooner rather than later, and if it happens voluntarily rather than being forced to it kicking and screaming.

    Good luck!


  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Thanks!
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    One of our Wardens tells me a new contract was needed as the old one was not up to date on various statutory points, eg holiday entitlement, and also that the figures needed updating. Huge embarrassment as details have emerged of past failures, lack of record keeping, misunderstanding of fees etc.

    Having passed on the point to CWs about PAYE, and raised awareness about recording fees being included I have lit the blue touch paper and am standing back to watch the fireworks.

    It will now be a power struggle, with the incumbent no doubt wanting to be in control without taking all the legal situation on board, the treasurer and her cronies playing their own power game, most PCC members not in the slightest bit interested, and just two or three of us determined to get this right.

    If it is not sorted, we will have no organist and before long, no choir.
    But that’s ok, because it makes services more accessible and the young families will flood in.......
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited August 31
    Naturally: they are just crowding around the church door waiting for the organist to come out carrying his suitcase. When he does, they will instantly rush in to claim pews before they're all taken.
  • Puzzler wrote: »
    One of our Wardens tells me a new contract was needed as the old one was not up to date on various statutory points, eg holiday entitlement, and also that the figures needed updating. Huge embarrassment as details have emerged of past failures, lack of record keeping, misunderstanding of fees etc.

    I'm more confused now than before. And what figures were in the contract? Surely nothing to do with remuneration? The only contract for services or employment I can think of that would mention a sum of money would be either for a fixed-price piece of work, or for a job of a short and fixed duration.

    What should be in an organist's contract is things like whether or not the post-holder is required on major feast-days, etc.

    If you want to send me a private message I'd be happy to give you the broad outline of my own contract purely as a starting point for discussion.

    Anyway, good luck with it all.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Thanks to TheOrganist for some extra help.

    A question for anyone who can help:
    re wedding fees, is it usual for the organist to be paid an increased amount every time for recordings, on the assumption that guests are going to record on their mobile phones, so not just if a professional video is made?

    I hope that makes sense.
  • It has been normal to pay an increase where a couple had asked to have their wedding recorded in recognition that a professional musician in like circumstances would get an increased fee. This is not always well understood by couples. In some places, by agreement with the organist, a lesser increase has been agreed for ALL weddings in recognition that some will be recorded.
  • An organist (and choir where applicable, and/or other musicians) own the copyright of their performance at a wedding or funeral/ memorial service, and as such there has for many years been a scale of fees payable to recompense them for the use of their performance in a recording, either sound alone or sound and vision. The fee payable varied from an additional 50% of the usual fee to 100%, depending on the recording and the proportion of it by the performer.

    The advent of mobile devices that could make recordings being available, in theory, to every wedding guest changed the situation; it quickly became obvious that at many weddings guests were recording parts of all of the service on telephones or tablets. And this in turn led to many musicians' work being uploaded onto things like YouTube to make it available globally. This ran a coach-and-horses through the copyright laws and it was obvious that, short of demanding that guests leave all mobile devices at the door, the law and practice as it stood had been overtaken. Accordingly, long before the law caught up with the situation (some would argue it still hasn't) many organists decided that their fee for such occasional services should reflect the near certainty that their performance would be recorded and disseminated; at the same time some of us recommended to our PCCs that a separate charge should be levied for permission for a professional recording to be made.

    At our place my own fee differs only on whether or not a choir is present for a wedding: my fee includes for the service to be recorded. It was decided that the choir's fee not be changed, but that the professional recording fee be set at the amount of the usual choir fee and that a proportion of that should go to fund new music for the choir, the rest into the general fund for things like cassocks, organ tuning, etc.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Thank you, both.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited September 4
    Thank you all. Not being an organist or musician I doubt I'll use this information, but it has been fascinating learning about it. Thank you.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Just had confirmation that all is settled.
  • Good to hear.
  • Pleased to hear it. And maybe when the dust is settled a general overhaul of procedures and working practices may be in order? :grin:
  • Puzzler wrote: »
    Just had confirmation that all is settled.

    That is good news. I hope it is a lasting solution that minimises departures.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Thanks, all. Agreed, but Watch This Space.

    New Rector has said if we don’t like the changes he has made, then maybe we should consider whether it is the right church for us.
    No matter that we have all been here longer than him, that our traditions have been established for many a year, that it is the only Anglican Church in the town.
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