No change onWells decision
A DECISION by the Church Commissioners to move the Bishop of Bath and Wells out of his historic palace to a fivebedroom former Georgian vicarage, which has been on the market for £900,000, has been heavily criticised both by leading figures in the diocese and by the wider community.
A statement signed by the Bishop of Taunton and the Archdeacons of Wells, Taunton and Bath and Wells, the Bishop’s Chaplain, the Dean of Women’s Ministry, the Diocesan Secretary and the Chair of Diocesan Board of Finance accuses the Commissioners of taking a unilateral decision and failing to undertake effective consultation. They say this has ‘cast a shadow over the announcement of our next Bishop’.
The statement goes on to say that the signatories cannot support the decision made by the Commissioners for which they say no ‘persuasive case’ has been made.
“We call upon the Church Commissioners to allow the next Bishop of Bath and Wells to begin his new role in residence at the Palace whilst a full and proper consultation about the long-term plans for the Bishop’s residence and office arrangements takes place,” the statement concludes.
Despite this unprecedented statement by senior diocesan officials, Sir Tony Baldry MP, spokesman for the Church Commissioners in the Commons, told a public meeting in Wells that the decision to move the Bishop will not be rescinded.
“It would be disingenuous of me to suggest the decision is going to be changed,” he told a hostile public meeting at the Wells Museum.
Sir Tony struggled to answer the questions thrown at him.