HC Deb 10 February 1986 vol 91 c633
26. Mr. Peter Bruinvels

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, what information the commissioners have as to the number of clergy whose stipends are topped up by other organisations or employers in respect of chaplaincies and other appointments; and if he will make a statement.

Sir William van Straubenzee

Approximately 1,200 out of the 8,300 vicars and rectors receive part of their stipends in part-time chaplaincies and similar appointments.

Mr. Bruinvels

I thank my hon. Friend for revealing the number of clergymen who receive additions to their stipends. Can he give information and details about the amount that is given to top up the £7,000 stipends for those clergymen who go into schools, or should be encouraged to do so, to check whether religious education is being properly taught and whether the morning assembly is being carried out? Does that form part of the duties of the clergy, or should it be part of their duties under the Education Act 1944?

Sir William van Straubenzee

I must not mislead my hon. Friend. The figures that I gave were with part-time earnings taken into account, and not additional.

On the second point, it is not likely that any financial consideration is involved in entering into schools, but, like my hon. Friend, I attach the greatest importance to the presence of the clergy in their parish on appropriate occasions.

Mr. Frank Field

Given the importance of the laity's contribution to the level of the clergy's salaries, is it not a little rich for the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Bruinvels) to ask such questions when, before Christmas, he was asking us to take strike action to reduce the amount of money available to the Church?

Sir William van Straubenzee

I do not think that my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Bruinvels) needs any protection from me for any statements that he makes in the country or in the House.

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