Church Commissioner Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP answers written questions from Pamela Nash MP

Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered a number of written questions from Pamela Nash MP on the Church of England, Churches and LGBT people. 

Church of England

Pamela Nash: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of recent trends in the proportion of Church of England congregations that are(a) from black and Asian minority ethnic groups, (b) women, (c) disabled people and (d) from low-income groups.

14.01 CCQ BaldrySir Tony Baldry: The most recent assessment of the proportion of Church of England congregations that are women and from Black and Asian minority ethnic groups was in the 2007 Congregational Diversity Audit. This was the first time such a survey had been conducted, and therefore no trends are yet available. It did not record information on people with disabilities and those from low-income groups.

The 2007 Diversity Audit showed that Black and Black British adults were more likely to belong to Church of England local congregations than their White counterparts. This results in a stronger picture of congregational strength in those dioceses where the presence of Black and Black British adults is high, for example, urban areas.

The survey showed the vitality of a younger profile that people from minority ethnic backgrounds bring to local church congregations. Among younger adult congregation members aged under 35 years, the ethnic minority proportion matched the proportion in the whole population, at around 15%.

The largest proportion of minority ethnic Anglicans (two-thirds) were clustered in the main three dioceses around the London conurbation and, consequently, contribute to a younger profile of churches in the London area.

Nationally, urban Church of England parishes recorded an average of 9% minority ethnic Anglicans in their core adult congregations, while suburban and rural parishes recorded 4%.

In general, a greater proportion of White core congregation members belong to church councils and are local church office holders than their minority ethnic counterparts.

A further Congregational Diversity Audit is being planned for the autumn of this year. It will collect information on gender, age and ethnicity and, for the first time, disability.

 

Pamela Nash: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, how many clergy of the Church of England were from black and minority ethnic backgrounds in each year since 2000.

Sir Tony Baldry: Data on the ethnicity of clergy was collected for the first time in the 2005 Diversity Audit of Clergy which established a baseline. This can be viewed online at:

http://www.churchofengland.org/media/36348/diversityreportsummary.pdf

Compared with 2005, the first year for which statistics were published, in 2012 there was slightly higher proportion of clergy

from minority ethnic backgrounds, rising from just over 2% in 2005 to 3% in 2012. In the same period there was a slight fall in clergy describing themselves as White British, from 95% in 2005 to 93% in 2012. Only for assistant curates and non-parochial diocesan clergy did any ethnic background other than White British or any other White background, represent more than 1% of clergy (1% of assistant curates describing themselves as African and 2% of non-parochial diocesan clergy describing themselves as White and Black African).

However it is difficult to draw firm conclusions, as the 2012 statistics on stipendiary clergy by ethnicity also showed that a high proportion of clergy had either omitted or chosen not to disclose their ethnic background.

From 2014 a declaration of ethnicity (including a ‘prefer not to state’ option) will be a requirement for all those applying for selection for ordination training.

Pamela Nash: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will publish a list of all (a) UK and (b) overseas equities held by the Commissioners’ investment fund in each year since May 2010.

Sir Tony Baldry: Information about the largest material holdings of the Church Commissioners is available in the annual report, which can be found on the website of the Church Commissioners. More detailed information is commercially sensitive and the Church Commissioners are unable to release it.

(via Parliament.uk)

Churches

Pamela Nash: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners,

(1) if he will publish a breakdown of funds that the Church Commissioners have made available for dioceses based in Nigeria in each year since 2010;

(2) what funds in each category of expenditure the Church Commissioners have made available for dioceses based in Uganda in each year since 2010.kdown of funds that the Church Commissioners have made available for dioceses based in Nigeria in each year since 2010;

Sir Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners have no power to make funds available to other provinces of the Anglican Communion.

(via Parliament.uk)

LGBT People

Pamela Nash: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners,

(1) what recent discussions the leaders of the Anglican church have had with the Archbishop of Uganda regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights;

(2) what recent discussions the leaders of the Anglican church have had with the Archbishop of Nigeria regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Sir Tony Baldry: On 29 January 2014, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to all Primates of the Anglican Communion, Moderators of the United Churches, and the Presidents of Nigeria and Uganda, recalling the words of the communiqué issued in 2005 after a meeting of Anglican Communion Primates in Dromantine, which said:

“..we wish to make it quite clear that in our discussion and assessment of moral appropriateness of specific human behaviours, we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people.

The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be order towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by hum and deserving the best we can give – pastoral care and friendship.”

The Archbishops noted that demonstrating the love and affirmation of which the communiqué speaks requires action as well as acceptance of its principles, including by leaders in those places where relevant legislation has recently taken effect. The Church of England fully respects the jurisdiction and autonomy of other churches within the Anglican Communion and conversations continue, both among the Primates and through the many friendships that exist through Diocesan links.

(via Parliament.uk)