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Ministers of Religion: Finance

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what steps are being taken to ensure that the stipend for parish priests is sufficient for them to perform their duties. (309495)

The principles of adequacy, flexibility and equitability underpin the work of the Central Stipends Authority which annually recommends a National Minimum Stipend and strongly encourages dioceses to ensure that no full-time stipendiary minister is paid below this level.

The CSA believes that current stipend levels are adequate and bishops and diocesan staff keep them under regular review as part of the pastoral care of the clergy. It should also be remembered that the clergy remuneration package includes more than just the stipend. It also includes the provision of housing, payment of council tax, water charges and maintenance costs, a non-contributory pension, removal grants and (in high risk areas) subsidised insurance.

For the Church Commissioners’ part, they do make available, via the Archbishops’ Council, additional stipend support to the least well-resourced dioceses.