Church Commissioners Written Answer – Vision and Strategy

Question for Church Commissioners, UIN 31286, tabled on 12 July 2021

Michael Fabricant, (Conservative, Lichfield): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the article by the Revd Marcus Walker, Rector of the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, London, entitled, Is this the last chance to save the Church of England, published in the Spectator on 10 July 2021, what assessment the Church has made of the implications for its policies of the (a) findings of Revd Walker and (b) potential merits of proposals to create 10,000 new lay-led churches in the next 10 years in private homes and public halls.

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Church Commissioner Questions -worship, choral singing, bereavement support, marriage, rewilding, tree planting, net zero targets, regenerative agriculture, Westminster Abbey

On 17th June 2021 MPs put questions to Andrew Selous MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner. Text of the oral and written answers is below.

Oral Questions


Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes) (Con): Whether the Church of England plans to support online and in-person communal worship as covid-19 restrictions are lifted. (901321)


The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): The Church of England is strongly encouraging churches to support both in-person and online communal worship, and training has been given to thousands of clergy to enable this. It is up to local churches to decide how best to do this.

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Church Commissioners written answer: rural parish support

24th May 2021

Rt Hon Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will make a statement on what steps the Church of England is taking to support the diocese of (a) Hereford and (b) Lichfield; and what plans the Church of England has to support dioceses with large rural parishes.

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire): Diocesan resourcing of mission and ministry is supported by congregational giving, historic investments and other income. Additional support is provided from national funds generated by the investments of the Church Commissioners and distributed by the Archbishops’ Council.

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Church Commissioners written answer: St Paul’s Cathedral

Andrew Rosindell (Conservative Romford): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to ensure the future of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Andrew Selous (Conservative South West Bedfordshire): The Church Commissioners and other National Church Institutions have been in regular contact with the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral throughout the pandemic as they have with all the Anglican cathedrals in England. The Church Commissioners made additional financial support available to all cathedrals and dioceses throughout the pandemic over and above the financial support they regularly make available.

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Church Commissioners written answer: worship numbers during pandemic

On 8th March the Second Church Estates Commissioner responded to a written question from Jim Shannon MP on worship during the covid-19 pandemic:

 Jim Shannon: [162605] To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of whether the online broadcasting of services during the covid-19 outbreak has increased the number of people participating in worship.

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Church Commissioners written answer: landholdings

On 10th December the Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP answered a written question on landholdings from Kerry McCarthy MP:
Kerry McCarthy (Labour, Bristol East): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will place in the Library a digitised map of all Church Commissioner landholdings.

Church Commissioner Questions: public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support, consistory court appeals

On 26th November MPs put questions to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, on public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support and consistory court appeals. A transcript is below:

Church Commissioners

The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners was asked—

Covid-19 Lockdown: Public Worship

Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con): What representations the Church of England has made to the Government on the importance of public worship during periods of covid-19 lockdown. [909344] Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support, consistory court appeals”

Church Commissioners written answer: consistory court decisions and appeals

On 19th November the Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP answered written questions on a case that is sub-judice, on non-English language inscriptions on headstones:

Conor McGinn (St Helens North, Lab): [115722] To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the appeals process against consistory court decisions to the Provincial Court of the Archbishop.

Andrew Selous: It is possible to appeal the decision of a consistory court to the provincial court of the Archbishop, with the permission of the consistory court or of the appeal court, provided that the appeal does not relate to a question of doctrine, ritual or ceremonial. The Provincial Courts of Canterbury and York are known by the names ‘The Court of Arches’ and ‘The Chancery Court of York’.

As in a temporal court the test for whether to grant permission to appeal is the same, i.e whether the appeal has a real prospect of success or there is some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard. Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answer: consistory court decisions and appeals”

Church Commissioners written answer: public worship during covid-19 lockdown

On 17th November the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, responded to a written question on closure of places of worship for public worship during the second coronavirus lockdown: 

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot, Con): [112061] To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Church Commissioners have had with the Government on allowing places of worship to remain open during lockdown if they continue to implement additional covid-secure measures.

Andrew Selous: Following the Government announcement of a second lockdown, churches have been required to close again for public worship, between 5th November and 2nd December. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishop of London and senior Christian and other faith leaders wrote to the Prime Minister about this and their letter can be read here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Faith%20communities%20letter%20to%20Prime%20MInister%20%28ii%29.pdf. Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answer: public worship during covid-19 lockdown”

Church Commissioners written answer: Coronavirus and celebrating Christmas

On 17th November the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on coronavirus and celebrating Christmas:

Dr Luke Evans (Bosworth, Con): [102186] To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps he is taking to support churches across Leicestershire to conduct Christmas services in 2020.

Andrew Selous: The Church of England’s seasonal campaign ‘Comfort and Joy’ will provide online, booklet and social media resources for all parishes and worshippers to use and enjoy this Advent and Christmas. More information is available here: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/preparing-advent-christmas-2020-comfort-and-joy Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answer: Coronavirus and celebrating Christmas”