From THE TELEGRAPH:
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, spent more than £45,500 on hospitality at Lambeth Palace last year, more than double the previous year’s total of £21,387. His overall “individual working costs” - including an official car, driver, other travel expenses, heating and cleaning - rose to £130,196 last year, up from £86,787 in 2008. Running costs for maintaining the Archbishop’s historic official residence, Lambeth Palace, and its gardens also increased sharply, from £536,914 to £622,813.
In total, Church of England bishops spent 360,674 heating, lighting and cleaning their official residences, up from 351,894 in 2008 but the overall bill for running bishops’ offices, working costs, and maintaining buildings and gardens fell slightly last year to £15.6 million.
Bishops expenses are paid from Church of England funds, which come from donations, legacies and collections from worshippers, as well as an extensive investment portfolio.
COMMENT: £15.6 million?!
That would cover the salaries and accommodation costs of over 500 parish priests. We could go back to having one priest per benefice in most of the country. Heck, they could even give me a job.
Seriously, I can see no reason why bishops should cost more than parish priests or live in better accommodation. Of course, they would need more money for travelling within the diocese and one off extra payments when they need to travel to Lambeth etc. But they need to be made to utilise modern communication technology and stopped from wasting our money on all the flying around the world they do. In other words we need to return to the Celtic church paradigm of an impoverished, sacrificial episcopacy as embraced by such saints as Aidan and Cuthbert. Bishops should lead by example, not dictate and they should get their house in order before the laity realise that the episcopacy is the most expendable part of our church order.