The Palace Trust is very disappointed to hear today’s announcement by the Church Commissioners’ that the next Bishop of Bath & Wells will not live on site at The Bishop’s Palace.
We are in support of the Diocese of Bath & Wells as they await formal notification of the Church Commissioners’ decision to be sent to the Bishop’s Council, who will have a special meeting to consider the Diocese’s response.
It is understood that the Bishop’s Council has 28 days to respond to the Church Commissioners regarding living arrangements.
The Palace Trust still believes that having the bishop reside on site is important to our future as a heritage destination of significant national importance.
A Statement of Need for the new bishop recommended that “the bishop will need to develop a new, and less demanding, relationship with The Palace Trust, in order to be able to focus better on the life of the wider diocese”.
The Palace Trust does not agree that a change in the bishop’s residence has to happen for this to take place.
It is hoped that The Palace Trust will be directly and adequately represented on any consultation group arranged to discuss the future use of the bishop’s apartment.
Wells MP Tessa Munt has handed onver a petition of more than 2,000 names to the General Synod in protest at the Church Commissioners’ plan to prevent the new Bishop of Bath and Wells from living in the flat in the Bishop’s Palace.
Wells MP Tessa Munt has described as "crackers" plans to move the Bishop of Bath and Wells out of his palace and buy another house nearby.
The Church Commissioners say the Palace, next to the cathedral, is no longer "sustainable" nor sufficiently private. It's believed they are considering buying the former rectory at Croscombe, which is on the market for almost nine hundred thousand pounds.
Local MPs met officials today to query the cost of the move.