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Meeting on controversial Bishop's move

The Bishop's Palace in Wells Credit: ITV News West Country

An official Church of England committee is meeting at the Bishop's Palace in Wells today to hear objections about plans to move the Bishop to a new residence in Croscombe.

The Church Commissioners had decided it would be more cost-effective to rehouse the Bishop away from the ancient palace. But the decision's unpopular with traditionalists and today's committee could block the move if it finds their objections are valid


Statement from The Palace Trust

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.

– The Palace Trust

Bishop's move from Palace backed by Commissioners

The Board of Governors of the Church Commissioners has given its backing to plans by the Bishop of Bath and Wells to move out of the Bishops Palace and into a temporary residence.

It comes despite opposition which saw a protest petition from Wells MP Tessa Munt presented to the General Synod earlier this month.

The Commissioners said "the ministry of the new Bishop should not be encumbered or restricted by being housed in a place with a high level of public access."

Church official criticises plans to move Bishop's home

A senior official of the Church of England has today criticised plans to move the Bishop of Bath and Wells out of his historic Palace and into a former rectory several miles away.

The move could cost £900,000 and the Bishop's Chaplain said today that local objections "had not been listened to"

The plan has set two branches of the Church against each other. as Bob Constantine reports


MP calls plans to relocate Bishop "crackers"

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.

Wells' Tree of Heaven is carved up for posterity

A tree that has stood in the grounds of the Bishop's Palace in Wells for 128 years is being transformed - after being blown down in the St Jude storms last month.

A local sculptor decided the wood shouldn't go to waste. So he's taking his chainsaw to the trunk - all in the name of art and raising money. Laura Makin-Isherwood reports.

Wreath laid in Wells for Harry Patch

Wreath laid in Wells for Harry Patch

A white poppy wreath has been laid outside the Mendip Museum in Wells this morning in memory of Harry Patch. Mr Patch was the last British soldier from World War One, who died in 2009. Tessa Munt, MP and Michael Eavis were both at the service to mark the international Peace Day.

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