Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Church Rates

Church Rates. These are tributes for the expenses attending the reparation and necessaries of the parish church. They are charged on all lands and houses in the parish, are assessed on the occupiers, and are made by the parishioners at large, that is, by the majority of the parishioners present at a vestry summoned for that purpose by the churchwardens. But they are not now, as a general rule, compulsory on the persons rated, and the only result of a refusal to pay them is a disqualification from interfering with the moneys arising from the rate. This important change in the law was effected by an Act passed in the thirty-second year of the present reign, which recites as a reason for the abolition of their compulsory levy that "church rates have for some years ceased to be made or collected in many parishes by reason of the opposition thereto, and in many other parishes where church rates have been made the levying thereof has given rise to litigation and ill-feeling." This Act, however, did not interfere with church rates established by special local acts. In Scotland the expenses of maintaining the churches is borne by owners of houses in proportion to their rental value.