Lay Preachers and Payments

Voluntary ministry of the Church

Lay Preaching is a voluntary ministry of the Church, and Lay Preachers offer their services for the common good of the gospel.  Lay Preachers contribute to their own congregations just as many other members do in various ways, without payment for services or travel.

Travel is reimbursed at the “ad hoc rates” set annually by the Synod (see section 2.9 in the Summary of Ministerial Provisions and Charges) at the lower rate for Lay Preachers who are in employment or paid ministry, and at the higher rate for Lay Preachers without income.

Fees for Supply Ministry (see section 4 in the “Summary of Ministerial Provisions and Charges?) do not relate to Lay Preachers conducting services of worship. These fees relate to persons employed by the Uniting Church, not those undertaking voluntary service such as Lay Preaching. Some congregations offer a visiting Lay Preacher a gift or money. The Code of Ethics and Ministry Practice for Lay Preachers notes  (section 4. Gifts and fees) there may be occasions when a Lay Preacher is offered gifts and fees beyond those recognised by the Church. It is not appropriate for Lay Preachers to seek financial gain for themselves or their families from their ministry beyond recognised fees and travel costs. However, where gifts are accepted to satisfy cultural traditions, the Lay Preacher should look at the appropriate use of the gift to benefit the community of faith.

Some congregations and presbyteries regularly provide their Lay Preachers with a grant for ministry resources.