Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answers to questions from MPs on 11th November 2022:
Jim Shannon MP (DUP): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Church of England will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing accommodation on their land for people aged 55 and over with shared values.
Andrew Selous MP (Con): The Church of England’s Social Impact Investment Programme has committed £2m towards the second Social and Sustainable Housing Fund [SASH II] managed by Social and Sustainable Capital. SASH II seeks to enable charities and social sector organisations to acquire and own portfolios of property so that they can provide a combination of high quality housing and targeted support to vulnerable people. More information can be found here: Church of England commits £2m to enable charities to purchase housing to support vulnerable people | The Church of England
The Archbishops’ Housing Commission made recommendations to the Church and Government about building new communities and the future use of land. An example is St Bride’s Church in Trafford, which worked with Trafford Housing Trust (THT) to release land that was used to build a new church and the Limelight Centre: 81 extra-care apartments for over 55 year-olds and a new expanded community centre. The full report from the Commission can be found here: Archbishops Housing Commission
Jim Shannon MP (DUP): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church Commissioners have taken recent steps to help support the implementation of recommendations in the report entitled Bishop of Truro’s independent review of FCDO support for persecuted Christians, published on 4 July 2022.
Andrew Selous MP (Con): The Church of England is in regular contact with officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office regarding the implementation of the Bishop of Truro’s Review Recommendations and what further measures might be needed to support freedom of religion our belief for all. The Church of England offered support and advice in advance of the Ministerial on International Religious Freedom that the Government hosted in July 2022 and is assisting with follow up to the Ministerial.