I don't really want to raise anyone's blood pressure further, but my attention was caught this morning by a snippet on the radio about the huge variation in the expenses claimed by various bishops to attend the House of Lords. The highest claimant was Peter Forster (Bishop of Chester) though to be fair he probably does spend a fair amount of time there opposing gay marriage and explaining that there is no need for alarm about global warming. The Diocese of Chester website describes him as" Parliamentary Spokesperson on the Environment/ climate change"- so you can relax on that front knowing things are covered. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York claimed nothing (as in expenses, I have heard nothing of their views on climate change!)
There has already been talk of reforming the House of Lords and there are some changes ahead anyway. It is also possible that the Government's proposals for equal marriage will lead to a split between church and state. Perhaps there is a bit of an agenda behind the leaking (if it is that?) of this sort of bishops-expenses-scandal? The British Humanist Society in its Holy Redundant campaign has described them as "archaic and unjust" and now they can add "costly" to the list as well. I don't mind so much if the bishops express strong views, or even use their parlimentary privilege to get them heard - although whether that privilege is right or appropriate in this day and age is debatable. What I do want is that those highest in the church should be the greatest servants of others. They should be unmaterialistic and live modestly, have a heart for the poor and vulnerable, have very little sense of their own self importance and NOT be furnished with a chaffeur driven car, a cleaner and a gardener.