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Too many cooks, Archbishop!


PLEASE say a prayer for Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York. His Grace has complained of sleepless nights after his plan for the future of the Church of England Simpler, Humbler Bolder – aka Cottrell’s Wheeze – was savaged. Criticism is pouring in from churchwardens, parish treasurers and members of parochial church councils: those who are struggling to maintain their local ministry in the face of ever-rising costs. In other words, from those who know what’s happening at the grass roots rather than in the corridors of ecclesiastical tomfoolery.

These church workers, with their feet in the churchyards and their bums on the pews, claim that the church’s central authorities are closing churches all over the place and bankrupting the parishes by annually increasing the tax every parish has to pay to central funds, called the diocesan quota or share. They further claim that their hard-earned money is being spent on the relentless expansion of an already bloated centralised bureaucracy.

Poor sleepless Stephen Cottrell denies these claims. Well, let’s see . . .

I am not going to report from every part of the country, so I’ll take my sample from the diocese where I used to be the Rector of a City parish, London. To this end I have done the most research I have ever attempted since I studied philosophy and theology at university. Happily, this work was not too arduous. All I needed to do was open the London Diocese’s Handbook to find the staff list, the vast majority paid and many very well paid. Here it is:

Bishop of London

Bishop of Kensington

Bishop of Edmonton

Bishop of Willesden

Bishop of Stepney

Bishop of Islington

Bishop of Fulham

Archdeacon of Hampstead

Archdeacon of Charing Cross

Archdeacon of Middlesex

Archdeacon of Northolt

Chancellor of the Diocese

Diocesan Registrar

Registrar Administrator

General Secretary

PA to the General Secretary

Director of Strategy and Communications

Creative Lead, Discipleship

2030 Vision – Project Manager

Interim Head of Compassionate Communities

Senior Administrator, Compassionate Communities

Communications and Digital Content Manager

Communications and Marketing Assistant

Director of Finance and Operations

Head of Finance

Assistant Trust Accountant

Parish Bookkeeper

Fund Accountant

Finance Support Officer

Payroll Officer

Trust Accountant

Financial Accountant

Area Finance Adviser (Edmonton)

Area Finance Adviser (Stepney)

Area Finance Adviser (Willesden)

Area Finance Adviser (Kensington)

Fundraising Support Manager

Head of ICT

IT Technician

IT Systems Officer

IT Support Technician

Director of Parish Property Support

Church Buildings Adviser – DAC [Diocesan Advisory Committee]

Mission and Pastoral Manager

Management Surveyor

Asset Manager – Development

Pastoral and Legal Officer

Director of Housing & Investment Property

PA To Director of Housing and Investment Property

Head of Housing

Maintenance Manager

Residential Property Manager

Repairs Manager

Building Surveyor

Development Manager

Investment Portfolio Manager

Property Accountant

Property Administrator


Front of House Officer

Head of Environment and Sustainability

Director of Ministry

Director of Ordinands

Warden of Licensed Lay Ministry

Diocesan Ordinands and Vocations Officer

Ministry Administrator

Director of Human Resources and Safeguarding

Head of Safeguarding

HR Manager

Safeguarding Adviser

Safeguarding Adviser (2)

Safeguarding Adviser (3)

Temporary Safeguarding Adviser

HR Administrator

HR Adviser

Admin support

Admin support (2)

Head of Children and Youth Ministry Support

Children’s Ministry Adviser, Apprenticeship Programme Coordinator

Schools Ministry Adviser

Project Manager, Capital Youth

Creative Lead, Capital Youth

Youth Ministry Adviser

Children and Youth Ministry Trainer

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker (2)

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker (3)

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker (4)

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker (5)

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker (6)

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker (7)

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker (8)

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker (9)

Apprentice Children’s and Youth Worker (10)

Synodical Secretary

Synodical Officer

Data Protection Officer

Additionally, each of the seven(!) bishops has a full complement of paid staff. Bear in mind, this list is not for the whole of London. There is also the Southwark Diocese south of the river.

Perhaps His Grace should take sleeping pills – or stay awake and purge his box-tickers?

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Peter Mullen
Peter Mullen
Peter Mullen is a Church of England clergyman, writer and broadcaster

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