HC Deb 22 November 1982 vol 32 c574
18. Mr. Greenway

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, what is the remuneration of a clergyman serving in a team ministry; and if he will make a statement.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Representing Church Commissioners (Sir William van Straubenzee)

For the year from 1 April 1982 the recommended national minimum stipend for incumbents, including team rectors and vicars, is £5,500 per year together with housing free from rent, rates, repairs and insurance.

Mr. Greenway

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Does he agree that, although there are some notable team ministries in Britain, they have sounded the death knell for the Church in many areas? Does he further agree that in those areas the priesthood has become so remote from the laity that there is no real or important meeting between the two? Will my hon. Friend try to persuade his friends to do something about that?

Sir William van Straubenzee

I am glad that my hon. Friend distinguished between the work of some team ministeries and others. In fairness, some of them are extremely effective. If my hon. Friend has specific cases in mind, perhaps I may inform him that the General Synod has set up a working group under the chairmanship of Dame Betty Ridley to inquire into these and related matters. I shall be happy to give my hon. Friend the address to which he can make representations.

Mr. Stokes

Will my hon. Friend do his utmost to ensure that no clergyman of the Church of England, whether in a team ministry or not, is allowed to give up the cure of souls to join us here?

Sir William van Straubenzee

Any move in the direction that my hon. Friend foreshadowed would have to be approved by the House. No doubt the House would have the benefit of my hon. Friend's powerful advocacy on that occasion.