On 25th January 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Rosie Cooper MP on fracking:
Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire): To ask the Rt. Hon. Member for Meriden representing the Church Commissioners what the policy of the Church of England is on fracking on land owned by the Church of England.
Dame Caroline Spelman: All oil and gas deposits in the UK are owned by the Crown. There are no plans for the Church Commissioners to use its land or mineral rights for the purpose of fracking.
As a policy, The Church Commissioners do not seek applications for seismic drilling/exploration and fracking. Allowing seismic testing/exploratory drilling does not imply approval of fracking. Litigation risks arise for landowners should they wish to oppose a request to carry out geophysical surveys on their land. The Church Commissioners seek to minimise this risk.
The Church Commissioners are responsible landowners and landlords and we seek to protect both our interests and those of our tenants. The Church
does not have an official position on fracking and recognises it’s a controversial and evolving issue and people within the church hold a range of views. The Church of England issued a Briefing Paper on Shale Gas and Fracking in December 2016 which can be found here: