On 21st February 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered three written questions from MPs, on Christian persecution overseas, homelessness, and married couples’ tax allowances.
Jim Shannon(Strangford): To ask the Right Honourable Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what humanitarian support the Church of England provides to people overseas that are persecuted for their Christian beliefs.
Dame Caroline Spelman: Anglican mission agencies work with and alongside Churches and partners across the Anglican Communion as they live out God’s mission in often hostile environments. This work is complemented by the web of diocesan companion links that twin Church of England dioceses with other parts of the Communion. These relationships are valuable instruments by which the Church of England provides practical support to those that are facing restriction and hostility as a result of their faith.
Andrew Rosindell (Romford)[N]: To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to tackle homelessness.
Dame Caroline Spelman: The General Synod of the Church of England will discuss homelessness at its February meeting this week.
The Church of England is engaged at diocesan and parish level with initiatives such as night shelters, providing food and clothing to people who are homeless. These initiatives are best managed and operated at a local level so that they can best react to local needs. Good examples of long running projects can be seen in the Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds Dioceses.
Mr Ranil Jayawardena(North East Hampshire): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent discussions the Church of England has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on increasing the marriage allowance.
Dame Caroline Spelman: The Church Commissioners have not recently held discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding the Married Couple’s Tax Allowance, though the matter has been raised by bishops in the House of Lords.
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