Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answers to questions from MPs on 13th December 2022:
Mr Ben Bradshaw MP (Lab): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, which (a) body or (b) person asked the Church Commissioners to review the Mission and Pastoral Measure.
Andrew Selous MP (Con): In 2019 the Legislative Reform Committee of the Archbishops’ Council was tasked with considering reviews of primary legislation. In July 2020 the Archbishops’ Council approved a recommendation from the Committee that the Mission and Pastoral Measure be reviewed, and this was endorsed by the House of Bishops at their meeting in July 2020. The Church Commissioners were then asked by the Archbishops’ Council to lead on a review, as they have the governance and management responsibility for the legislation.
Mr Ben Bradshaw MP: To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the General Synod asked the Church Commissioners to continue work on the review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure and bring forward draft proposals for debate in February 2023.
Andrew Selous MP: The Mission, Pastoral & Church Property Committee of the Church Commissioners tabled a paper for debate at the July 2021 Synod. The motion and vote was:
‘That this Synod a) welcome the consultation paper Mission in Revision: A Review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 (GS 2222); b) commend it for discussion; and c) invite the Archbishops’ Council, the Legislative Reform Committee and the Church Commissioners to bring forward draft legislation for consideration by the Synod no later than July 2022.’
In a counted vote of the whole Synod the voting was as follows:
• In favour – 278
• Against – 2
• Abstentions – 7
The original timetable was extended as the Commissioners decided that further consultation was needed before any proposals came to Synod. It is hoped that the Business Committee of the General Synod will schedule the Mission and Pastoral Measure as an item at the July 2023 meeting and that the Synod will be presented with either an update or more specific proposals, depending on progress.
Mr Ben Bradshaw MP: To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions he has had with the General Synod on the steps it will take to agree the Vision and Strategy for the Church of England in the 2020s.
Andrew Selous MP: I have had no discussions with the Business Committee of the General Synod about the Vision and Strategy.
The Vision and Strategy was debated in July 2022, when the Synod voted in favour of the following motion:
‘That this Synod:
(a) welcome the spending plans by the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council, set out in GS 2262, for financial distributions over 2023 to 2025 and indicative distributions for the subsequent six years;
(b) welcome the investment in ministry in parishes, chaplaincies, schools, cathedrals and other forms of church in support of the Church’s vision and strategy as set out in Annex A of GS 2262; and
(c) welcome the focused investment to support previously agreed commitments to a 2030 net zero carbon target and to address racial justice.’
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