Moving up North? You’ll be needing a vicar then, BBC tells staff relocating to Salford
YOU’D think a cloth cap, clogs and a crash course in Mancunian would do trick, but no, some crazies at the religion-obsessed BBC think that a 30-grand-a-year-vicar will better help staff get over the horrors of moving to Salford.
According to this report the Beeb is to recruit its own vicar to counsel staff who are being moved north to its new site next year and help them through the upheaval of relocating from London.
Around 1,500 BBC employees have been asked to move to Salford next year. By the end of 2011 some of the BBC’s biggest shows, including Match of the Day and Blue Peter, will be produced there.
The 220-acre site at Salford Quays, known as MediaCity, is to be the new home of five BBC departments including sport, Radio Five Live and children’s television.
Around Â£200million is being spent on the move and employees are being given relocation packages of up to Â£11,000 each to offset the cost.
A BBC source said:
Many of the London staff were horrified by the prospect of moving up North and there will no doubt be people who need counselling about their change of surroundings. It is hoped that the new vicar will be able to provide some pastoral support to the new community of London staff who, it is expected, will take a while to acclimatise to life outside the capital.
Rumours that staff will also be issued with chocolate teapots to help them overcome the trauma have yet to be confirmed.
The Diocese of Manchester said it is looking for “an experienced vicar” to help “shape community, spirituality and mission” as well as providing
Solutions to meet the creative and production needs of media professionals.
The full-time clergyman will receive a salary of up to Â£29,500, paid for by the Church, and will be offered an initial three-year contract.
Phew. For a moment there I thought the cost would be passed onto the licence-payers.
David Marshall, spokesman for the Manchester diocese, said the new vicar would help foster positive relations between media workers, as well as working with other Christian churches and faith groups in the area.
A spokesman for the BBC said:
This is a Church of England initiative reflecting that many new people will be moving to Salford Quays.
So far around half of the 1,500 BBC staff asked to move have agreed to relocate. The site will also house another 800 staff who are currently based at BBC’s Manchester city centre offices. A further 700 new employees will be recruited.
Hat tip: Marcus