THE official residence of the Bishop of Lincoln is to be sold to avoid the cost of refurbishment.
The present Bishop’s House, a Grade I-listed building in Eastgate, a stone’s throw away from the Cathedral, costs £10,000 a year to heat, and needs at least £300,000 spent on it to make it habitable, the Church Commissioners say.
The building is for sale, the Commisioners say, and the incoming bishop, the Ven. Christopher Lowson, will move into a five-bedroom house, which is also near the Cathedral. He will be the first bishop for at least 50 years to live away from the Bishop’s House. The former Bishop’s Palace houses the diocesan offices.
The chief executive of the diocese of Lincoln, Max Manin, said: “The incoming bishop has often spoken of his belief that bishops should live more simply, and is very happy to have a slightly more modest house. But the decision has been made by the Church Commissioners. He isn’t involved in the process at all.
“The house used to be a symbol of power and status, but it’s a long time since that has been the case. And whoever buys it will need to spend a considerable amount of money, because it is literally falling apart. In terms of expenditure, you would be looking at a figure of more than £300,000.”
The Ven. Christopher Lowson was appointed Bishop of Lincoln earlier this year (News, 21 April). He succeeds Dr John Saxbee, who retired in January.