Bishops urged to take pay cut - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
June 21, 2004

Bishops urged to take pay cut

-21/6/04

Bishops are to be urged next month to give up nearly half their pay and live on the salaries of parish priests.

The General Synod in York is to debate a private member's motion which argues that all clergy should earn the same, irrespective of their jobs reports the Daily Telegraph.

If adopted, the measures would apply to all newly appointed bishops, who earn £33,930 a year, archdeacons on £27,660, deans earning £27,850 and even a few well paid parish clergy.

They would have their pay pegged back until they came into line with the average stipend of a parish priest, which stands at £18,480 a year.

Even future archbishops of Canterbury would be on the same annual income as parish clergy, instead of the £62,520 a year the present Archbishop is paid.

In February however, plans to divert £5.5 million from Church of England cathedrals and bishops into mission work were postponed indefinitely by the General Synod after a series of attacks by senior clergymen.

Although the new motion may be too radical to gain sufficient support in the Synod, it will reignite an increasingly fraught debate about the Church's parlous financial situation.

The debate will follow the disclosure that the House of Bishops has launched a review of the role of senior clergy that could result in severe cuts.

The private member's motion has been proposed by the Rev Christopher Lilley, the rector of the Scawby group of parishes in the Lincoln diocese and a member of the finance committee of the Archbishops' Council.

He said the Synod had debated whether to scrap clergy stipend differentials on several occasions and each time had edged closer to approving the move.

One of those who has campaigned in the past for the reform is the Rt Rev John Packer, now the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds.

"I know quite a few senior clergy who are sympathetic to the idea," Mr Lilley said.

"God has given us different gifts to help us serve Him. Why should some people be paid more because they have particular gifts?"

He said, however, that he doubted whether any bishops would lead by example by giving up some of their pay voluntarily if his motion were defeated.

Bishops urged to take pay cut

-21/6/04

Bishops are to be urged next month to give up nearly half their pay and live on the salaries of parish priests.

The General Synod in York is to debate a private member's motion which argues that all clergy should earn the same, irrespective of their jobs reports the Daily Telegraph.

If adopted, the measures would apply to all newly appointed bishops, who earn £33,930 a year, archdeacons on £27,660, deans earning £27,850 and even a few well paid parish clergy.

They would have their pay pegged back until they came into line with the average stipend of a parish priest, which stands at £18,480 a year.

Even future archbishops of Canterbury would be on the same annual income as parish clergy, instead of the £62,520 a year the present Archbishop is paid.

In February however, plans to divert £5.5 million from Church of England cathedrals and bishops into mission work were postponed indefinitely by the General Synod after a series of attacks by senior clergymen.

Although the new motion may be too radical to gain sufficient support in the Synod, it will reignite an increasingly fraught debate about the Church's parlous financial situation.

The debate will follow the disclosure that the House of Bishops has launched a review of the role of senior clergy that could result in severe cuts.

The private member's motion has been proposed by the Rev Christopher Lilley, the rector of the Scawby group of parishes in the Lincoln diocese and a member of the finance committee of the Archbishops' Council.

He said the Synod had debated whether to scrap clergy stipend differentials on several occasions and each time had edged closer to approving the move.

One of those who has campaigned in the past for the reform is the Rt Rev John Packer, now the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds.

"I know quite a few senior clergy who are sympathetic to the idea," Mr Lilley said.

"God has given us different gifts to help us serve Him. Why should some people be paid more because they have particular gifts?"

He said, however, that he doubted whether any bishops would lead by example by giving up some of their pay voluntarily if his motion were defeated.

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