Representations from the Ruridecanal Conference of the Cheetham Deanery and from the Secretary of the Readers' Board of the Diocese of Manchester have been carefully considered but my right hon. Friend sees no grounds to vary the decision conveyed to my hon. Friend on 11th May.
Whilst thanking my hon. Friend for his courtesy in receiving a deputation on the matter, may I ask him whether he does not consider that a full-time chaplaincy is needed in what is, after all, the largest general hospital in Manchester? Would he not, perhaps, reconsider the criteria that are laid down by his Ministry?
No, Sir. We cannot at this stage reconsider the criteria. As my hon. Friend knows, the criterion is 750 patients. In the case of Crumpsall Hospital, I understand that the hospital has about 600 Church of England patients, and consequently there is difficulty in appointing a full-time chaplain in those conditions.