As my own church ponders the number of Administrative Bishops it needs, the Church of England shows everyone how to bloat the episcopal budget:
The running costs of the Church of England’s 113 bishops increased by £2 million, or 13.5 per cent, to £16 million last year at a time when the Church has been telling the nation to embrace a more lowly life.
The bishops spent £1.3 million on travel in a period when the Church’s own assets dropped from £5.67 billion to £4.36 billion during the credit crunch.
As many of the bishops’ own costs increased, in repeated Lent campaigns they urged worshippers to turn off televisions, lights and use charity shops to save both cash and climate.
The blunt truth is that 113 bishops is simply too many for the shrunken attendance (and resulting income) in the UK’s state church.
I think the corporate term for this is “top heavy.”