Palace at Bath and Wells: Church Commissioners’ Written Answers

Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered five written questions from Tessa Munt MP on the Church Commissioners plans for the Palace at Wells.

The Palace at Bath and Wells (picture courtesy of bishopspalace.org.uk)
The Palace at Bath and Wells (picture courtesy of bishopspalace.org.uk)

Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what heirlooms of the see there are in relation to the Bishop’s Palace at Wells.

Sir Tony Baldry: The Palace at Wells contains many heirlooms of the Bishop of Bath and Wells including the Coronation cope worn traditionally during the Coronation ceremony by the Bishop. These and other heirlooms of the Bishops of Bath and Wells will remain in the palace for the foreseeable future.

Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what repairs or maintenance to the living accommodation of the Bishop of Bath and Wells in the Bishop’s Palace in Wells were identified in the Church Commissioners’ most recent Quinquennial Review; what the date was of that review; and what the anticipated costs were of any such repairs or maintenance.

Sir Tony Baldry: The living accommodation for the Bishop of Bath and Wells and his family form an integral part of the palace at Wells. The latest quinquennial review took place in 2013. Due to the location of the accommodation for the Bishop within the palace the review did not separate out the various specific costs of work required within the Bishop’s flat from that of the rest of the palace complex.

 

Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the future of the Bishop’s Palace in Wells, what consultation has taken place between the Church Commissioners and (a) English Heritage and (b) any other individual or body qualified to advise the Commissioners under section 4 of the Episcopal Endowment and Stipend Measure 1943.

Sir Tony Baldry: Section 4 of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure 1943 does not apply in this case, as the Commissioners have not exercised a power conferred by that Measure to transfer, sell, convert or demolish the palace. The Bishops of Bath and Wells and Taunton will continue to use the office accommodation and the chapel in the palace for their work and ministry, and the public will continue to have access to the palace and its gardens through the work of the Palace Trust.

 

Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners what consultation has taken place between the Church Commissioners and the Diocesan Advisory Committee in accordance with the terms of the Episcopal Endowment and Stipend Measure 1943 section 3(1) over the proposed new residence of the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the proposed change of use of the Bishop’s Palace at Wells.

Sir Tony Baldry: No consultation has taken place with the diocesan advisory committee under section 3 of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure, because the Commissioners are not taking a decision to which section 3(1) applies. The Bishops of Bath and Wells and Taunton will continue to use the office accommodation and the chapel in the Palace for their work and ministry, and the public will continue to have access to the Palace and its gardens through the work of the Palace Trust.

 

Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2014, Official Report, column 1502W, on Bishop of Bath and Wells, what estimated (a) stamp duty and (b) other associated costs will be paid by the Church Commissioners for their purchase or proposed purchase of property to accommodate the new Bishop of Bath and Wells.

Sir Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners are a registered charity and therefore are not required to pay stamp duty; they have also used their own in house legal advisors. The other associated costs therefore are estimated currently at £3,000.

(via Parliament.uk)