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News – CofE to axe clergy

September 2009

CofE to axe clergy

 

Spiralling costs in this recession have brought the Church of England to consider cutbacks in the number of senior posts, including bishops. This follows reports in June that trainee ministers were being turned away after studying for the ministry, owing to the tough financial climate.

     At the General Synod meeting in July, attendees were told that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Rowan Williams and John Sentamu, would be considering how to bring about ‘episcopal deployment’ within the Anglican church. The archbishops will be compiling a report to show where the number of clergy might be reduced, to help the church meet rising costs.

     Reports from the Bradford Diocesan Synod said that £7.3 million had been spent by Church Commissioners in 2008 on maintaining diocesan bishops’ houses, and a further £14.5 million in grants for bishops’ support staff, offices and other working costs.

     During a heated debate over the review, the Rev. Dr John Hartley of Bradford said that it was not about cost-cutting measures but about doing the best with the limited resources available.

     After the synod, Rev. Hartley wrote an amendment on the Church of England website, which read that the synod welcomed ‘the intention of the Archbishops’ Council later this year to begin consideration of future policy on the number of bishops and dioceses’. The Archbishops’ Council will prepare a progress report on delivering the changes, for the synod in November 2010.

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