§ 39. Sir Sydney Chapman
To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, how many clergy and clergy widows' pensions are currently contributed to by the Church Commissioners; what is the annual funding involved; and what these figures were(a) five and (b) 10 years ago. 
§ Mr. Stuart Bell
I have arranged for this information to be placed in the House of Commons Library. In order to assist the hon. Member, however, he should note that at 31 December 1998 the Commissioners were contributing to the pensions of 7,341 clergy and 4,298 widows. The total cost for the year was £82.3m. In addition, funding of 1.3m was used to subsidise the cost of retirement housing.