Bishops’ costs rise

11 October 2013

BISHOP'S PALACE, WELLS

Browned off: above: hedge-damage caused by the fungal disease Box blight, in the formal gardens of the Bishop's Palace, Wells (below). The Palace launched a fund-raising campaign on Tuesday to enable 130m of hedging to be replaced. The head gardener, James Cross, said: "What makes this even more frustrating is that we have just completed a major project reinstating historic pathways and introducing new flower beds and planting. . .  There is nothing that I can use to cure the disease" http://bishopspalace.org.uk

Browned off: above: hedge-damage caused by the fungal disease Box blight, in the formal gardens of the Bishop's Palace, Wells (below). The Palace la...

THE office and working costs of the Church of England's 113 bishops increased again last year, from £17,013,912 in 2011 to £18,085,697.

Figures released by the Church Commissioners on Wednesday show that the largest increase was in staff costs, which rose from £8,279,128 to £9,093,061.

Legal costs, which include charges connected with clergy discipline cases, increased from £1,315,816 to £1,382,178.

The figures include a breakdown of expenditure by individual bishops. A total of 28 bishops reported a decrease in costs, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. No bishop reported an increase of more than £60,000.

The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, whose costs increased by £58,749 to £247,656, incurred "one-off charges", including the refurbishment of his offices and increased hospitality costs for major events, including the visit to the diocese by the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee year.

A spokeswoman for the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, whose costs increased by £50,660 to £268,122, said that, because 2012 was the first year in which he was diocesan Bishop throughout, costs rose because he spent more time offering hospitality to people around the diocese.

He also leased a car for the first time, and some costs that had previously been accounted for by the diocese of Southwark properly moved to his office. Other causes of the increase included the completion of the episcopal team in the diocese.

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