Church Commissioners Written Questions: Meetings with CofE groups, Tackling Antisemitism, Festivals and Special Occasions

Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answerto questions from MPs on 14th February 2023:

Mr Ben Bradshaw MP (Lab): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what meetings he has held in his capacity as Second Church Estates Commissioner with (a) evangelical groups and (b) groups representing other traditions in the Church of England in the last 12 months.

Andrew Selous MP (Con): In the twelve month period since February 2022 I have met with representatives of the groups listed below. This is in addition to the large number of regular meetings I have held with the National Church Institutions boards, committees and officials, and with individual bishops, Government ministers, officials, and Members of Parliament.

1 March: Evangelical Alliance Freedom of Religious Belief Conference
31 March: Meeting with Anglican Communion Primates in Parliament
5 July: Chaired the annual Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast. More details at: 2022 Programme – Christians in Parliament(opens in a new tab)
5 July: Meeting with representative of Anna Chaplaincy
5 July: Attended No.10 Downing Street reception on Freedom of Religion & Belief
3 August: Attended the Lambeth Day of The Lambeth Conference
7 November: Meeting with representatives of the CofE Evangelical Council
19 December: Meeting with Bishop Graham Tomlin, Centre for Cultural Witness

18 January: Attended the launch of the Open Doors Watch List
30 January: Attended meeting between Archbishop of Canterbury and MPs/Peers supportive of same-sex marriage in the Church of England
8 February: Attended meeting of the Church of England General Synod.


Mark Pritchard MP (Con): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether he has had recent discussions with the Church of England on tackling anti-Semitism in (a) theological training colleges, (b) ordained clergy and (c) Church of England parishes.

Andrew Selous: The key resource that the National Church Institutions commend to all clergy, dioceses and parishes is God’s Unfailing Word: Theological and Practical Perspectives on Christian-Jewish Relations, produced by the Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England in 2019. This addresses the need to combat antisemitism in the Church and affirms the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism. Teaching and training of ordinands and clergy in Theological Colleges and Dioceses includes much of this material, and there are regular resources and seminars for Diocesan Inter Faith Advisers equipping them in this area.


Jim Shannon MP (DUP): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to support parish churches in holding events for (a) families and (b) other individuals.

Andrew Selous: A vibrant children’s and youth ministry is often a key component of church growth and creates intergenerational support for new parents and caregivers from experienced parents, grandparents and youth workers. Most Church of England parishes provide activities to engage with families and young people. Examples include breakfast, lunch and holiday clubs, youth clubs, messy church and events in partnership with local authorities, other churches and faith communities. Most dioceses have specialist children, youth or families advisers. More information and resources can be found on the Church of England website here: Our work with children and young people | The Church of England(opens in a new tab)

The Archbishops’ Commission on Families and Households will soon be publishing a report looking at the role of the family in today’s society. Details of the Commission are here: Families and Households Commission | The Church of England(opens in a new tab) .


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