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Clergy Stipends

Volume 931: debated on Wednesday 4 May 1977

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asked the hon. Member for Kingswood (Mr. Walker), as representing the Church Commissioners, whether the commissioners are yet in a position to announce their proposals for the remuneration of clergy over the next 12 months; and whether he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave him on 2nd March. The Church's "stipends year" runs from 1st April to 31st March and increases in clergy stipends pursuant to stage 2 of the Government's counter-inflation policy came into effect on 1st April last.

The commissioners expect to be able to make an announcement about revised stipend ranges and scales for the year starting 1st April 1978 at the end of July next when, at their special general meeting, they will have been able to decide what additional income they will be able to make available for stipend purposes for that year, and by which time they would also hope to be able to take into account, in making their decisions, any further arrangements with respect to counter-inflation policy that the Government may by that time have announced.

I have a very brief text, Mr. Speaker. Since the pay of clergy remains absolutely deplorable, will the commissioner ensure that the maximum permissible award is made under any stage 3 agreement there may be, and that substantial progress is made towards remunerating clergy for their working expenses?

There certainly will be a good award under stage 3, but we shall have to wait to see what it is.