The Church Times has a report headlined Slash spending on bishops’ houses, says task group.
EXPENDITURE on bishops’ houses is out of control, an official task group has concluded.
The funding for see houses is set every three years. The total spent in 2002-04 was £11 million. In 2008-10, it is forecast to be £21 million. The average maintenance cost of some bishops’ houses is now well over £50,000 a year.
The figures come in a document prepared by a task group on spending, chaired by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres. Other members include the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd Andrew Urquhart, and the First Church Estates Commissioner, Andreas Whittam Smith.
The group acknowledges that a number of the houses are Grade I and Grade II listed. It also accepts that much of the expenditure is a result of work on office space in many of the houses, which are used by diocesan staff as well as by the bishop. Such expenditure seldom adds to the value of the house.
It concludes, none the less, that the money allocated in 2011-13 should be capped at £15 million, with a view to bringing it down to no more than £10 million in 2014-16. “There is a compelling need to bring control over this area of expenditure,” the group says.
This all comes from GS Misc 946 Archbishops’ Task Group: Report on Spending Plans 2011-2013, a document with lots more interesting information, which is among the General Synod papers, but has not yet appeared on the CofE website. It might perhaps appear on this page when it does.