Thursday, 15 October 2009

bishops - what they do and what it costs

Here it is then, the statement of the Church of England House of Bishops' office and working costs for the year ending 2008. The document starts with a summary of the role and responsibilities of the bishops, before giving a breakdown of the costs for each diocese and the individual expenses for each bishop.

Don't hold your breath if you are looking for details of moat cleaning, duck houses or house flipping, though heating, lighting and cleaning costs are included. Not easy to glance through and compare costs unless one is prepared to research which posts had a vacancy during the period.

Anyway, looking at the figures I'm not expecting any Telegraph front page splashes, though you can never tell with the press. MPs will be sad to learn that attention is unlikely to be deflected from their ongoing travails over this issue.


dmk said...

I think it would be good to hear why the total for this has gone up by nearly 14% year on year. Yes a large chunk of that is the Lambeth Conference, (nearly 3/4m extra over 2007), but there's still an increase of 8% or so. That's pretty hefty in the current climate.

Philip Ritchie said...

Good question David and I think there are other costs which may not be covered in these figures. One example would be the cost of some bishops' chaplains, particularly for those area bishops who have either full time or part time chaplains. These chaplains may actually come out of the diocesan stipendiary numbers rather than appear under bishops' staff costs in these figures, though their expenses and office costs presumably do appear here.

Interesting to note that £500,000 of the increase you mentioned is in office and support staff costs. I can only see this increasing with the further demands placed on bishops, for example with all the new legislation and accompanying processes around clergy employment.