Wells MP Tessa Munt will meet Church Commissioners' representatives in London today to discuss the controversial decision to end the ancient tradition of housing the Bishop of Bath and Wells in the 800-year-old moated Bishop's Palace.
The decision to find a house for the new bishop, the Rt Rev Peter Hancock, somewhere near the city has dismayed some lay people and some senior clergy alike.
The Commissioners say the change is designed to allow future bishops more privacy and so help sustain their ministry. However, critics say that living 'over the shop' in the palace, a stone's throw from the cathedral, is part of the job, and that without a bishop in residence the palace will be "just another historic house".
Ms Munt will meet Sir Tony Baldry, the Commissioners spokesperson in Parliament, and Andrew Brown, the Commissioners' secretary.
Sir Tony has also agreed to attend a public meeting in Wells, the date of which has yet to be fixed.
Ms Munt has received numerous inquiries from constituents asking to whom they should address letters on the issue. Sir Tony said they should write to the Church Commissioners, addressing letters to Andrew Brown, Secretary to the Church Commissioners for England, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ.
The Grade I listed Bishop's Palace and Bishop's House was originally surrounded by a medieval deer park before streams were diverted to form the moat as a reservoir.