OPPOSITION to the decision by the Church Commissioners to move
the residence of the Bishop of Bath & Wells from the Palace in
Wells will come to the General Synod next week, despite the warning
by the Second Church Estates Commissioner that there would be "no
review or reversal" (News,
Tim Hind, the deputy chair of the House of Laity, who is from
the diocese, has tabled a question to the chair of the Board of
Governors of the Church Commissioners.
It reads: "Given that Bishop Peter Price announced on 5th
November 2012 his intention to retire in June 2013 and the local
outcry regarding the announcement that the new Bishop will not be
housed in the Bishop's Palace in Wells, what is the Board of
Governors doing to ensure that in future any such announcements are
not made merely 12 days before the good news of the appointment of
a new Bishop?"
On Tuesday, Mr Hind said that the Commissioners had "acted as
judge and jury without consulting widely enough" and had appeared
"to ride roughshod over process".
On Wednesday, the MP for Wells, Tessa Munt, launched a petition
for presentation in the House of Commons and at the General Synod.
It calls on the Commissioners "to pause . . . and to consult
widely". She said that the new Bishop, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock,
and his wife had not been consulted.
Mrs Munt is also seeking a meeting with the Prime Minister, in
his capacity as a Church Commissioner.
At the time of going to press, the petition had attracted more
than 800 signatures.