Bishops’ working costs grow again

21 December 2012


Listening: bishops at the General Synod at Church House, in November

Listening: bishops at the General Synod at Church House, in November

A MORE than doubling of legal costs, generated by clergy discipline cases, was the main cause of an increase of more than £1 million in the working costs of bishops in 2011.

Figures released by the Church Commissioners on Wednesday show that the office and working costs of the C of E's 113 bishops increased from £15,983,479 in 2010 to £17,013,912 last year. The main reason for the increase was rising legal costs - from £533,600 to £1,315,816. A spokesman said that legal costs were incurred by the consecration and enthronement of bishops, and the clergy Discipline Measure.

"Exceptional staff costs", which cover redundancy payments and payments towards the pension deficit, also increased, from £246,033 to £462,745.

The biggest cost was salaries for office and support staff, totalling £8.7 million, up from £8.5 million in the previous year, while office costs fell from £1.3 million to £1.1 million.

The figures include a break- down of expenditure by individual bishops. The office of the Archbishop of Canterbury reported expenditure of £1,989,862 in 2011, up from £1,882,346 in 2010, while the outlay of the office of the Archbishop of York rose from £991,000 to £1,062,742.

In 2011, the Church Commissioners changed the way in which bishops' ministry is funded, and gave diocesan bishops an annual block grant, known as a Ministry Grant, which is used to fund suffragan, area, and assistant bishops in line with "locally determined priorities".

The Commissioners' board of governors has agreed to increase funding for the Archbishops by two per cent, and the bishops' funding by four per cent, year on year, for 2011-13.


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