I don't earn any salary now but even when I was employed by the Church of England I was only earning about £22000 per year as I worked in one of the poorer paying dioceses.

So this story MAKES ME FECKING ANGRY!!!!


Bishops are claiming up to £27,000 a year in fixed-rate allowances to attend sessions of the House of Lords on top of their travel costs. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Independent has found that some bishops are claiming up to the maximum fixed allowance for attending sessions in the second chamber while having full-time jobs in their dioceses.

From October 2010 to November 2011:

* The Bishop of Chester attended the House on 97 days, claiming £27,600 in attendance allowances and £7,309 in travel expenses.

* The Bishop of Liverpool attended on 60 days, claiming £15,600 for attendance and £4,220 in expenses.

* Other significant claimers included the Bishop of Exeter (£11,550), the Bishop of Leicester (£8,850) and the Bishop of Wakefield (£10,650).

In contrast, a number of bishops regularly attended the House but did not claim any attendance allowances at all. The Bishop of Birmingham attended the House of Lords on 22 occasions but claimed no money. The Archbishop of York attended on 16 occasions and claimed nothing. The Archbishop of Canterbury also made no charge. However, the Bishop of London claimed £3,750 for attending the Lords on 24 occasions.

So, the "oh so righteous" fundie Bishop of Chester's expenses claim is £5000 more than I ever earned per year in my life. He is claiming £21000 more than I now have each year to survive on.

It would also appear that, on the whole, evangelical bishops ask for more expenses than liberal bishops.



  1. Evangelicals in it for the money? I am shocked, shocked I say! Ever seen our “TV Evangelists?”

    • You mean you didn’t watch as Pat Robertson told the world that the Hatiian earthquake was God’s payback for their voodoo ways? You really missed out. If you ever need your blood boiling, just watch a bit of that show and you’ll be boiling in no time.

  2. This is a silly question on my part, but don’t they have to justify their allowances? I mean, I have a professional expense allowance for travel, meetings, etc, but there are restrictions and I have to show receipts to justify what I spend.

  3. No, they are fixed allowances and they are not required to receipt anything below £500. Overnight accomodation is fixed at £360 or £150 or they don’t claim.

  4. Hang in there with the holy righteous anger, Madpriest! This news drives me nuts too. But I am drawing strength from the new Rainbow Christ Prayer that I just posted. Patrick Cheng collaborated with me on this prayer, and I’m pleased with the result. These lines address the money-grubbing bishops:

    Liberator Christ, you are our Voice, speaking out against all forms of oppression. Free us from apathy and grant us the grace of activism….

    Transgressive Outlaw Christ, you are our Heart, breaking rules out of love. In a world obsessed with purity, you touch the sick and eat with outcasts. Free us from conformity and grant us the grace of deviance….

    More at:

  5. MP, The Council for Secular Humanism in the US did a study and found that WalMart gives more in charity than churches. Of course they have an agenda and they are calling for the elimination of tax exemption for churches but still, the numbers say what they say. Interesting juxtaposition to the ridiculous spectacle the Roman Catholic church is putting on here for the next 2 weeks whining about employees being insured for birth control while they rake in taxpayer dollars.

    Jesus wept. Then he took a scourge to the moneylenders. Good on him!

  6. I’m afraid I find the study done by the Council for Secular Humanism very misleading. “Charity” is defined only as giving money to someone else. Churches do give money away but they primarily do “charity” by doing things.

    My parish is small but we do a lot of “charity” (a word I don’t particuarly like in this context; we’re servants of people in need, not purveyors of charity). For example:

    Every month we prepare lunch bags and hand them out to patients waiting for medical care at a local AIDS clinic.

    Every month we prepare dinner for the residents of a transitional housing facility and prepare lunch bags for the residents for the next day.

    We tutor children at a facility for “at risk” children. We also make our church available to them for various functions. We also sponsor yearly college scholarships for three to five of them.

    We make our church avaible for meetings for around a dozen 12-step group as well as a variety of local community groups.

    We prepare school packs for a residential facility for foster children that are virtually impossible to place with families. We also have a group that knits clothes for these children (and for other people in need).

    We organize campaigns for people to give funds to church-related relief organizations such as the United Thank Offering and Episcopal Relief and Development. This year’s campaign for the latter was directed to malaria nets for children in sub-Saharan Africa.

    We organize rummage drives for a facility for abused women.

    Then there are the pastoral visits and counseling, which are performed by both clergy and trained healing team members.

    All of this has significant charitable value but because it’s doing “charity” and not giving money away, most of it would not be deemed charitable in this study. The things that are given away are mostly donated by parishioners, as are the money donations given by parishioners but organized by the parish. That would apparently not be considered “charity” either.

    My parish is certainly not alone in the “charity” it does. Most parishes I know do a lot of similar type of work.

    Does Wal-Mart “do” charity? Probably very little.

    Does the Council for Secular Humanism “do” charity? Dooes it even give money away? It’s a tax-exempt organization just like churches (see here). Should it’s tax-exempt status be pulled because it doesn’t give money away?

  7. It would also appear that, on the whole, evangelical bishops ask for more expenses than liberal bishops.

    Well, why shouldn’t God’s Elect be Man’s Elect, too? >;-/

  8. Fundie Bishops they do love to claim
    Any promise that comes in God’s name
    But they’ll claim even more
    For expenses galore
    Is it avarice that they wish to proclaim?

  9. We have a similar thing in the US in which our powerful conservative voices are much more likely to exploit for personal gain than their liberal counterparts. For us, I think that is based on the ideological hatred of the institution (ie. “big” government) on the one side, and the optimistic support for the institution on the other.