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Bishop John criticises Council cuts in the House of Lords

Published: 24th January 2019

Bishop John today gave a speech in the House of Lords criticising theCounty Councils proposal to cut 405,000 from the Archive service, describing it as cutting to the bone.

The current budget of the Archive service is 700,000, whichwas cut from 1.2m in 2010. Based in the Hive, Worcester Archive service caresfor items of great public significance like Shakespeares Marriage Bond and in2017, it was voted by the Archives and Records Association as Record-KeepingService of the Year. The proposed budget cut would amount to a saving of just0.69 per resident per year, equivalent to only 0.18% of the councils socialcare expenditure.

In his speech, Bishop John said: Some might not consider anarchive service to be an essential service, but I would beg to differ. Itmatters, as the British Archaeology News Resource puts it, because of thepossible irretrievable loss of hundreds of years of dedication and expertise.The history of a place isnt in the cold dead stones, or the reams of paper inan archive. Its in the people that care for them, know the records intimately,and pass on that passion and knowledge to others. Its in the people who bringthose stones, those manuscripts to life. Lose them, and you lose the history.And, now more than ever, we need the lessons of history.

Bishop John continued; I have great respect for our CountyCouncillors and very much hope that they will reject these proposed cuts whichwould be a false economy and a major reputational as well as cultural loss,putting some statutory services at risk.

Read the full text of Bishop John's speech.



The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.
From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.
Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516


Page last updated: Thursday 2nd July 2020 1:55 PM

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