The statements criticising arrangements for Mrs Thatcher’s funeral made by the Bishop of Grantham seem to me to be a tasteless exercise in attention seeking publicity.
Bishop Tim may well be much loved in Pinchbeck by the Parish and Church council, and in my view he might well be right by saying the reported costs of £10m is “a mistake” and thus a burden on hard-pressed taxpayers.
My problem is this: I’m not sure that he, the Church of England and its supporters in Pinchbeck, currently asking taxpayers for £3,500+ per annum to keep two churchyards looking nice and tidy, have any moral authority to criticise others seeking state benefits – in this case the funeral costs of a national figure.
We should all remember that the list of benefit scroungers in our much-divided country is not entirely confined to some vague dishonest social underclass but may include, for instance, the Church of England, the Royal family,some MPs and even bishops serving in the House of Lords as well.
By the way, finally, as a loyal, long serving Royal Navy sailor who served in the South Atlantic in 1982 during the Falklands War I understand my “family perk” is the right for my ashes to be buried at sea at public cost.
I do hope this small consideration will not burden the national purse or upset the Bishop.