Opulent stumbling-blocks

by
23 September 2016

September 22nd, 1916

THE alleged fatal opulence of the Bishops is undoubtedly a stumbling-block to a great number of people. Those who heckled the Bishop of London the other day on Tower Hill bluntly referred to the size of his official income. Of course, his lordship had a complete answer ready, to the effect that in the fifteen years of his occupancy of the See of London, after spending £152,000, he was £2,000 out of pocket. But the answer was not so convincing to his questioners as it ought to have been. They were still left considering why London House and Fulham are necessary for the maintenance of the Bishop’s state, and should even make demands upon his private purse. . . Now that the world is being turned upside down, and, in the near future, many things to which we are accustomed will have to go, we cannot expect that what are deemed to be great abuses will be allowed to remain. It seems better, therefore, to anticipate with reasonable measures reforms that might otherwise be carried out in ruthlessly drastic fashion. Two successive Bishops of Worcester have experimented in the treatment of Hartlebury Castle, their See-house. Bishop Gore boldly refused to live in it, and contented himself with a modest dwelling in his cathedral city. His successor followed another plan. Reserving for his private use a part of Hartlebury, he used the other for diocesan purposes — for retreats, the entertainment of his ordinands, and so forth — thus fulfilling his obligation to be hospitable and preserving the connexion between the old residence of the Bishops of Worcester and their See.

 

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