Archbishoprics (Administration)

Oral Answers to Questions — Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 26 March 2001.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield 2:30, 26 March 2001

What advice is given by the commissioners regarding the administrative work for the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Photo of Stuart Bell Stuart Bell Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Church Commissioners finance the working costs of both archbishops, including staff and office requirements, as they do for other bishops. They aim to provide resources in a consistent and cost-effective way, and will offer advice as needed.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Conservative, Lichfield

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that both archbishops are currently sinking under a weight of administrative work? Does he agree with many people in the Church of England who are calling for the establishment of a third archbishopric? Does he not agree that, if that were to be established, the obvious place for a third archbishop would be in the diocese that is one of the oldest in the country and which has the precedent of a third archbishop--there was an archbishop of Lichfield in 787? Lichfield is also midway between Canterbury and York. Will he use all his tremendous talents and efforts to press for a third archbishop: an archbishop of Lichfield?

Photo of Stuart Bell Stuart Bell Second Church Estates Commissioner

The hon. Gentleman's eloquence is well known to the House. He is also, as Napoleon once said, a lucky man. Generals should be lucky and he is lucky--he won his seat at the last election with a majority of 230. With such good fortune and such eloquence, I am sure that Lord Hurd, who is conducting a review of the see of Canterbury, will listen carefully to what he says and take his remarks fully into account.