HC Deb 21 June 1999 vol 333 c760
41. Mr. Robert Key (Salisbury)

If he will list by category expenditure by the Church Commissioners in the last three financial years on (a) the diocese of Chichester and (b) the Dean and Chapter of Chichester; and if he will make a statement. [86571]

Mr. Stuart Bell (Second Church Estates Commissioner, representing the Church Commissioners)

The Diocese of Chichester received £170,000 per annum in 1996 and 1997 and £.163,000 in 1998 in respect of stipend support from the Church Commissioners, mainly in the form of statutory payments of guaranteed annuities and other grants paid direct to clergy.

Mr. Key

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. Does he agree that those figures are modest and that unwarranted attacks on alleged mis-spending by clergy of the Church of England and absurd claims by hon. Members that bishops live extravagant life styles do nothing to assist the Church and merely show that people who indulge in such ridiculous and pathetic attacks know nothing about the Church of England?

Mr. Bell

I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman's comments. I could not put it better myself.