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Church Rental fees

Dear Listers,
Thanks for your responses. I had originally asked for your building
usage fees for weddings, receptions, and recitals.
Lots of variety here. Many churches are very generous, (others are out
to make a buck). The last posting at the bottom of this list brings
out a very important point we should'nt forget. I've heard of churches
losing their tax-exempt status for crossing this line.
I don't have our church's fees in mind, but we don't charge members
anything to use the sanctuary for a piano recital A non member might pay
$50-100 for use of a room depending on the size of
the meeting and the need for cleanup/setup
Wedding receptions and things that need custodians cost more, but I think
you can rent our fellowship hall for $300 for a wedding or anniversary
reception, maybe even less
Good luck to you in this!
As a general policy we do not charge anything for a piano recital or
rehearsal by an outside group. We have determined that we gain much more
(in terms of community involvement) by having such events here. Often we
will receive a gift from those participating for our music fund. Our
sanctuary seats 750. For member weddings and receptions there are no
charges. For non member weddings in the sanctuary the charge is $500; the
charge for a reception in our Fellowship Hall is $200 for 1 section, $350
for 2 sections, and $450 for the full Fellowship Hall.
I am at an Episcopal Church in the Oklahoma City area that seats about
250 parishioners. We have no usage fee. We have a cleaning fee of $75
dollars and fees when they use it for a wedding, however, for recitals
and such there is no fee. Churches are meant to be open for the
community. Christians are sure not acting like Christians these days.
I just heard this week that First Presbyterian Church on Fifth Avenue (at
11th St.) in New York City wants $500 just to rent a meeting room space
for one evening. Perhaps this gives you perspective. Out here in the
outer boro of Brooklyn, NY, my church will rent out its sanctuary for
$200. for one evening. Our sanctuary holds about 275 persons easily.
We're Presbyterian-USA.
We don't "rent" out our sanctuary but we do have a fellowship hall with
kitchen facitlites that seats 175. We rent it out to members at $50 and
non-members at $100. I hope this helps. I agree that $500 is a bit
First UMC, Weatherford, Texas. We're a 1200 member /400 worship
congregation. Our Sanctuary, a state historic landmark, was completed in
1887. It features a vaulted bead-board ceiling; a big, late 70's Rodgers
organ that's beginning to show it's age, 7' Kawai grand, and a Korg
synthesizer. Even at capacity, which is 310, the acoustics are still
great. We don't charge for funerals of any kind. For members, the room
fee is $25; for non-members or non-church events it's $100. Everyone pays
a flat custodial fee of $10/hr, $50 mininum. The Family Life Center (big
as a gym, but not one) is $200 for outside groups, $50 for members. The
acoustics aren't great; it's usually used for banquets, etc. If the
instruments are used, our music staff are paid, whether we are used or
not; Pianist/organist/soloist $75 each. If the sound system is used
(Sanctuary or FLC) there's $65 fee for the sound tech.
I don't have the breakdown exactly, but my church St. James Presbyterian
in Littleton, Colorado is a big church, with a Sanctuary seating about
900. When I rent it for my community children's choir concerts, we rent
the Sanctuary and 5 Sunday School rooms, for about 20 hours total. That
is 4 rehearsals for 3.5 hours each and 6 hours on concert day. We totally
fill the place each time. We have over 150 children in 5 choirs, and an
audience of about 600. For the entire week, the fee is $1000, and they
give us a 50% discount because we are a non-profit organization, doing
good in the community. We also give them an ad in our program and a thank
you. Total bill for the whole facility for the better part of a week:
Classroom space $25.00
Guilds Room (Living Room) $75.00
Monthly Rentals of several spaces; i.e., AA etc $250.00
Great Hall: (Holds 200-400 depending on whether just chairs or tables and
Non Profit $250. per event
For Profit $500. per event or $125.00 per hour
Pledging Members $125.
Non Pledging Member $250.
Kitchen fee
for Non-Profits $50 - $75
For Profit $150.
Pledging members $25
Non Pledging $50
Within in this frame work there is flexibility for "terms" depending on
use and needs. Additionally there is a custodial fee of $50-$100
depending on requirements.
Our sanctuary seats 250, and we charge $100 maximum per rental, depending
upon usage and heating requirements. For a piano recital (excluding piano
tuning) the charge would be about $50.Clif Jacobs, Director of Music,
First Baptist Church, Mount Carroll, IL
i am not sure what the exact fees are, but we have a HUGE space and our
are NO WHERE near that high. the only thing we charge for is...
heating and cooling costs, unless there is no need.
parking lot attendant(s)
custodial fees (based on his hourly rate of pay)
if they require a special tuning of the instrument/s (several recordings
have been made in the church recently) we require that they use our
technicians, and handle paying them themselves. i think the most we have
ever charged is $250. i know that we have also negotiated extra fee-type
things... like the 2 recordings made on our organ (a pretty significant
one, and world-famous) we also asked for a number of copies of the
project to sell. i think one was 75, and the other was 100. but 500 bucks
for a piano recital..... holy sheeeeesh! our philosophy is that anything
that happens in our building is a way to get people into it... to take a
look around... do a little p.r. for the church... sort of an opportunity
to shake hands and make friends with people not in the congregation. we
have gained both members and regular friends by doing this. in fact... 5
years ago i demanded that we stop charging admission to our concert
series... i told the session that if the congregation wanted a music
series ... and to use it as a sort of way to get folks in to the place...
they needed to make it FREE and pay for it themselves.... well... each
year i am well-covered by donations and advertisements. everything is
paid for with money leftover even before we open the door. we do give the
audience a chance to support our effort to offer great music to anyone
onterested, as well as a performance veue for artists who might not have
the means to share their talents. we just put a box by the door, and make
a teency mention of its being there during the intermission. here is what
i feel is my/our responsibility to the congregation with regard to
respecting stewardship of the members.... as long as costs are covered,
that should be all that matters. NOW... on the other hand.... if there is
a really big event, especially a ticketed one where the performers are
looking to make money,,, negotiations need to be different. many people
have tried to pull that one over on us. the minute i smell that one
coming, i simply ask what percentage of the take beyond covering costs
are they offering. they NEVER once have called back. i suppose i could go
on, but there you have what i think is about it. i hope you are
flourishing... and i'm still mortally jealous of your choir room.
Weddings: seats 250
$35.00 each to Pastor, Wedding Coordinator
$25.00 for use of Fellowship Hall and kitchen (seats about 200)
$25.00 for the use of the white wedding runner
$50.00 for set up of formal candle votives (attached to every other pew)
No fee for members to use Fellowship Hall. Wedding fees apply to
everyone, although Pastor is being more selective about marrying
non-members at all.
I use the building where I am a member FREE for any recitals, even if I
am only sponsoring them, not the actual director..that also goes for
weddings (though I already did that). We have a brand new nearly
acoustically perfect auditorium. They charge the North Carolina Symphony
but they are, after all, professionals. The building whose congregation
I serve charges $150.00 for non-members. Weddings are a bit more but that
includes the sexton, etc. Another building that I use for rehearsals &
concerts is charging $150.00 for our TYM Chorus Fall concert to pay for
sexton. We also get a "host." This area is economically similar to any
large metropolitan area in the U.S. Average home price high $200's ...
The highest educated cities in the U.S. (more wasted Masters' & Ph.D's
here than anywhere else in North America).
Our church, to the best of my knowledge, does not charge usage fees,
although it does rent space to a Montessori preschool. The advantage is
that the church can then control what is permitted and say "no" when
appropriate, rather than being open to anyone with the money for a fee. I
would suggest that there might also be questions about liability and
insurance if you go into the facilities rental business, and it might be
well worth checking on those aspects. You might do better to find out
what other facilities in your own town or area--church-related or
non--are charging, since that is the market your church is actually in.
Our church (Eastman United Methodist Church) seats approximately 300+/-
people. We also have a "social hall with kitchen" that will accommodate
that many if not more. We charge NOTHING for church members to use the
social hall or sanctuary for weddings. We charge non-members $150. Now
I'm not sure what if anything they would charge for events like recitals,
etc., but I really feel the rule would apply in the same manner. A church
family feels like their sanctuary is "their" church and shouldn't have to
pay to use it. I tend to agree to a certain extent. But I feel they are
responsible for clean up after the event.
If the church REALLY wants to serve the community, it should charge what
is necessary to cover utilities and extra custodial or security
personnel. A use contract making the party responsible for any loss or
damage to the building with a possible damage deposit might be in order.
Churches are tax exempt because they are non-profit. A fee for profit
puts the church in a gray area with the IRS too if you want to use that
to get the fee more reasonable!

I also received an attachment from the UU Church of Nashua, which is a
detailed pamphlet that’s handed out to anyone who uses the building. It
describes specific prices for each room and specific things the users
must do. If you’d like me to sent you this, please let me know.
Thanks to all of you! (my apologies if I inadvertently excluded anyone).

God Bless,
Josh and Nancy Peterson, Directors of Music
1st United Presbyterian -- 1303 Royal Heights Rd.
Belleville IL, 62223 -- (618) 233-0295 -- 233-0490 (fax) -- joshandnancy(a)