The Church of England has defended the allowances being claimed by bishops to attend sessions of the House of Lords.
The bishops are criticised in a report
by the Independent for claiming up to £27,000 a year in fixed-rate allowances in addition to travel costs.
There are 26 Lords Spiritual who are allowed to claim the allowances to cover overnight accommodation and other expenses relating to their stays in London.
Current regulations give peers a choice of three rates to cover their expenses - £300, £150 or nothing.
While some bishops claim nothing, the Independent is critical about the claims being made by some bishops for the maximum fixed-allowance, despite having full-time jobs in their dioceses.
The report cites claims of £27,600 in attendance allowances and £7,309 in travel expenses by the Bishop of Chester to cover 97 days in attendance at the House of Lords.
It notes that the Bishops of Liverpool, Exeter, Leicester and Wakefield were also significant claimers, while the Bishop of Birmingham and Archbishops of Canterbury and York attended but made no claims.
A spokesman for the Bishop of Chester told The Independent: "The bishop's attendance in the House of Lords was higher than usual for the period in question because of his membership of the Joint Select Committee on Privacy and Injunctions, which required him to attend weekly for several months. And being from the north, he has greater accommodation costs than many other bishops."
A Church of England spokesman said: "Lords Spiritual, like other members of the House of Lords, are able to claim reimbursement for the costs incurred in the exercise of their parliamentary duties.
“Claims for reimbursement for costs incurred by the Lords Spiritual under the parliamentary scheme are handled by each individual bishops' diocesan office.
“The amounts claimed as reimbursement by Lords Spiritual will inevitably vary from bishop to bishop as a reflection of a number of factors including time spent in the House, geographical distance from Westminster, policy portfolios held, committee membership and all party group activity."