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Organists and Ceremonies Rates

Updated: 03 November 2023 | 16:45 PM

Recommended minimum rates of pay for organists and ceremonies, April 2023.

Casual engagements

Regular services

  • A maximum of 1.5 hours: £78.75
  • After which overtime payable at £13.13 per 15 minutes or part thereof.

Special services

Special services include weddings, funerals, carol and memorial services, festivals etc.

  • A maximum of 1,5 hours: £129.15
  • After which overtime payable at £21.53 per 15 minutes or part thereof.


  • Minimum fee: £78.75
  • Per additional service: £40.25
  • For playing at the funeral service and at the crematorium - double fee.


  • A maximum of 1,5 hours: £66.25
  • After which overtime payable at £11.04 per 15 minutes or part thereof.

Resident organists

3 hours per week £8,238.21 per annum
(£158.43 per week)
4 hours per week £10,820.06 per annum
(£208.08 per week)
5 hours per week £13,449.29 per annum (£258.64 per week)
Overtime pro rata in 15-minute units: £13.13

Holiday pay

The musician is entitled to 28 days holiday in line with Working Time Regulations.

Bank holidays when worked are payable at double time.

Video recording

A video recording for private purposes of a wedding or other ‘special service’ may be made subject to:

  1. the organist giving his/her permission
  2. a fee of £74.25 being paid.

Distance fees and travel expenses


  • Group A - £35.23 – Electric Guitar (inc’ Amp); Bass Guitar (inc’ Amp); Double Bass.
  • Group B - £30.50 – Bass Sax, Tuba.
  • Group C - £24.30 – Contra Bassoon; Baritone Sax; French Horn + 1 other brass instrument; Trombone + 1 other brass instrument or bag of mutes: Two Saxes; Cello; Bass Clarinet: Pedalboards.
  • Group D – subject to individual negotiation – Drum Kit; Percussion; Harps: Keyboards: P.A.


15% of fee for each additional instrument


Minimum of 15 mins per 2 hours playing

Late fees

Payable when time of return is between midnight and 2:00 am: £31.89

Overnight stay

Payable when return would be after 2:00 am: £125.00


Payable per day to cover meals and expenses: £56.70

Live streaming in a place of worship, including organists

If you are asked to live stream your performance please see the rates below. Please note that these fees are to clear limited term rights and are in addition to regular organists’ fees

The headline rates are:

  • Unlimited streaming over a 24-hour period (no further ability to view) £45.00
  • 30 days unlimited streaming £60.00
  • 3 months unlimited streaming £75.00
  • 6 months unlimited streaming £100.00


Guidance notes

The MU’s live rates are based on an hourly rate which a self-employed musician needs to charge in order to earn an income, relative to their training, experience and expertise. Individual negotiations can be made based on these minimum rates.

  • If you’re self-employed, you do not have a contract of employment with an employer. You’re more likely to be contracted to provide services over a certain period of time for a fee and be in business in your own right.
  • You’ll also pay your own tax and National Insurance contributions.
  • You don't have employment rights as such if you're self-employed as you are your own boss and can therefore decide how much to charge for your work and how much holiday to give yourself.
  • You do have some legal protection.
  • You must not be discriminated against and you're entitled to a safe and healthy working environment on your client's premises.
  • Self-employed women who have recently left their jobs may be entitled to Maternity Allowance.


Live rates

Member benefits for live musicians