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Parish Priests

Volume 521: debated on Tuesday 18 January 2011

Vacancies are managed individually by each separate diocese. The last clergy vacancy in my hon. Friend’s constituency of St Michael’s, Kirklington was filled before Christmas after a short vacancy.

I am most grateful for that reply. Does my hon. Friend share my concern about the number of rural parishes that vicars are asked to look after? What attention are the Church Commissioners giving to that vexing problem?

I am glad to say that the Church does not generally find difficulties in the recruitment of stipendiary clergy. Of course, it is for each diocese to decide how to organise parishes into benefices. I am told by the dioceses of Ripon and Leeds and of York that they do not have difficulty filling rural stipendiary posts. Clearly, the clergy find these appointments satisfying and rewarding.