The Daily Telegraph

Unfair parish share


sir – Mike Keatinge (Letters, January 13) seems to think that most, if not all, of a church’s “parish share” is spent on paying parish clergy.

If that were the case there would be many more people queuing up to be ordained. The all-up cost of an incumbent – including stipend, national insurance, pension, housing and training – is some £50,000.

The Oxford diocese generates £20,000 per incumbent from its Diocesan Stipends Fund, an endowment set up in 1976 from glebe funds originatin­g in the parishes. The diocese demands a further £70,000 from the parish, making a total of £90,000.

Thus £40,000 goes to funding a bloated bureaucrac­y and projects of dubious value, for which the diocese refuses to publish detailed figures.

It is no surprise that there is much disquiet being expressed about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s costly virtue-signalling, when the burden placed upon parishes and their donors has become unsustaina­ble.

Stephen Billyeald

Pangbourne, Berkshire sir – Following a theft of lead, the nave roof of our rural parish church has now been replaced – thanks solely to charitable and local donations.

Every penny raised was a struggle, and for a lengthy period only plastic sheeting protected the 800-year-old building. Oh, for access to just a small slice of the proposed £100million set aside by the Church of England to atone for the “past wrongs of slavery”. Tony Smith

Braceby, Lincolnshi­re

sir – I feel embarrasse­d to be an Anglican priest: £100million to atone for something that notable Anglicans (William Wilberforc­e, Henry Thornton and Thomas Gisborne) helped to abolish in the British Empire in 1833.

What is Justin Welby thinking?

Rev Richard Fothergill Windermere, Cumbria

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