THE working costs of Church of England bishops have increased by almost £2 million, the Church Commissioners reported in new figures this week.
The 2008 total for bishops’ office and working costs came to £16,044,144, an increase from £14,136,843 in 2007. The figures cover the office and working costs of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the 44 diocesan bishops, and 69 suffragan bishops.
Most expenditure was spent on office and support staff for bishops, covering staff salaries, employer’s National Insurance and pension contributions, and office expenses and equipment. These costs rose from £8,401,824 in 2007 to £8,910,312 in 2008.
The individual working costs of the bishops came to £2,263,862, up from £2,212,115 in 2007. This total includes costs for the lease of official cars, the payment of drivers, fuel, travel and subsistence, and hospitality for functions held mainly in bishops’ homes.
Bishops spent £589,703 in 2008 on hospitality, up from £498,400 the previous year.
A significant increase for 2008 was £850,000 towards the costs of last year’s Lambeth Conference, including the hire of marquees and catering, whose costs rose from £113,438 in 2007.
The total costs also include £700,031 towards the running Lambeth Palace Library, and £536,914 for the running of Lambeth Palace.
Costs of overseas travel by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on Anglican Communion business and bishops representing the Church of England have fallen, from £179,309 in 2007 to £114,193 last year.
The Commissioners also spent a further £5.1 million on bishops’ stipends in 2008, up from £5 million the previous year, and £7.3 million on maintaining the houses, office premises and gardens of archbishops and diocesan bishops, including Lambeth Palace. This is down from £7.9 million the previous year.