I AM pleased that Mr McTernan (Letters, December 4) was mostly in agreement with the archbishop’s article about the importance of tackling poverty. However, I feel that I must respond to a couple of the points he makes.
While the archbishop lives at Bishopthorpe Palace, he and his wife actually live in an apartment here and do not own the property – like most clergy, the Archbishop lives in a tied house, meaning that living in it is a requirement of the job. Much of the palace is put aside to offices for staff and function rooms for official events.
Secondly Mr McTernan talks about how much the archbishop earns in salary. As the archbishop has made clear, it is important that those who earn more pay their fair share through general taxation to support those who are poor and vulnerable.
Also the archbishop is heavily involved in charitable causes which bring direct practical help to those in poverty – immediately I think of Acts435.org.uk which he set up to help those facing financial pressures, and his Youth Trust that assists young people, particularly in deprived areas in the north.
Finally, the Commissioners continue to work with local authorities to make land available for more affordable housing where appropriate, but this is subject to local plans and planning frameworks set down by elected representatives.
Kerron Cross, Director of Communications for the Archbishop of York Bishopthorpe Palace, York.