From the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle IT WOULD be unjust and unfortunate if your report, Feb 21, gave the false impression that the dioceses of England and Wales are claiming back from the Inland Revenue more than their due.
The last year for which I have the Hexham and Newcastle figures is 1984. The parishes received £2.45 million by direct giving. There were also a number of additional diocesan collections which qualify for covenant claims. Yet only £498,000 was recovered by covenants.
Clearly, we are still by no means reclaiming from the Inland Revenue all that could lawfully be reclaimed.
Nevertheless, in a matter which is covered by precise Government regulations, it is always possible that some individual convenantors, and even some areas, have claimed more than their strict entitlement. If so, the diocese which processes their claims may have to make some repayments. But it would be wrong to lay any blame at the door of the diocese, which administers the covenant scheme with great care, and which falls well short of what it could legally claim. I would be very surprised if the situation in other dioceses is substantially different to our
own. t Hugh Lindsay Newcastle upon Tyne