The Grace Baptist Trust Corporation has released a new survey of Pastors’ 2005 salaries. Coming five years after a previous survey, the exercise relates only to Grace Baptist Ministers but will be of interest to many other churches.
Replies were received from some 45% of those canvassed (93 out of 205). Of full time pastors, 35% received an annual salary of less than £15,000 (£15K); 27% received £15-20K; 23% received £20-25K; and 15% received over £25K. Only 19% have their salaries ‘benchmarked’ to other scales (such as teachers or other denominations with published salary scales).
These figures compare with a salary range of £20-34K for qualified teachers, and a UK national average income (in 2005) of £23,244 for persons in full employment. This implies that only a third of the full-time pastors were paid at or above the national average. However, this does not take account of other benefits received.
Other benefits and income
Many pastors receive benefits in addition to their salaries. Rent-free accommodation was available to 34% of pastors (of whom 15% owned homes elsewhere) while 58% lived in their own houses.
While only 8% received life insurance benefits, and only 2% a health-care package, 41% received a pension contribution and 60% a car mileage allowance. Other unquantified allowances were for books (31%), telephone (56%), and conference fees (61%).
Government family tax credits were received by 35% of the respondents.
Some 40% of pastors’ wives were in separate paid employment, while 20% received payment from the church (a significant number had income from both these sources).
Although 96% owned their own cars, only 9% received help from the church with car purchase.
Paid holidays ranged from 3 to 6 weeks annually (average 5 weeks). Additionally, most pastors preached away from their churches for an average of four Sundays each year, for which they generally received fees from £75 to £100 for a Sunday’s preaching.
The survey concludes that ‘most churches struggle to reward their pastor with the “double portion” or generosity that the Bible declares’. Jeremy Walker’s article on page 21 of this month’s ET develops this matter. Even taking additional benefits into account, probably only 50% of the pastors concerned achieve the national average income.
The Survey also contains useful advice about the status of pastors under employment and tax law, on expenses and benefits, and on the tax credit system.
Copies of the survey can be obtained from the GBTC, 19 Croydon Road, Caterham, Surrey, CR3 6PA (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).