28 February 2007

No comment: mission cuts to fund palaces?

This is relevant to an Inclusive Church blog, I think, inasmuch as the extent to which we focus on mission is the extent to which we'll live as the church. I enthusiastically support any focus on mission, and I'm sceptical of any distraction from mission. From an article in today's Guardian:

The Church of England is considering cutting spending on parish missions and theological textbooks to help meet the rising cost of its bishops' palaces, it emerged yesterday. Figures released at the church's general synod in London showed that the church's spending on bishops, including their official residences, has risen by 40% in two years, from £20.7m to £29.5m.

To accommodate the costs, the house of bishops privately agreed last month to give a lower priority to sustaining the church's £4.7m parish mission fund - the money spent on maintaining its local proselytising efforts - and even to cutting spending on books for theological students completely...

It also emerged that young clergy will have to work three years longer in order to qualify for full pensions when they retire. The church's pensions fund has been under pressure for some years, partly because clergy are longer lived than most other professions, but also because the Church Commissioners, managers of its investments, lost at least £600m in the 1990s through imprudent management.

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