Commons passes Church of England Channel Islands Measure

On 14th July the House of Commons approved a Motion to give Royal Assent to the Church of England Channel Islands Measure. The Motion, taken in a Delegated Legislation Committee, was introduced by the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP.

Channel Islands Measure

Sixth Delegated Legislation Committee

[Graham Stringer in the Chair]

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): I beg to move,

That the Committee has considered the Channel Islands Measure (HC 548).

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Stringer. I am grateful to colleagues for turning up this morning; I hope that the Measure will not detain us for long. The Measure is very simple: it will transfer the Channel Islands from the diocese of Winchester to the diocese of Salisbury. The transfer will be achieved by an Order in Council. The reason for it is that back in 2008 there was a safeguarding incident on Jersey, and the handling of the matter led to a dispute between the Dean of Jersey and the Bishop of Winchester. In 2018 the Archbishop of Canterbury appointed a commission, chaired by the former Bishop of London, Lord Chartres, to consider and report on the relationship between the Channel Islands and the wider Church of England. Continue reading “Commons passes Church of England Channel Islands Measure”

Church Commissioner’s Written Answers: choral singing during Covid-19

On 10th July 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on singing in churches from Bell Ribeiro-Abby MP.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy: 69712 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the timescale is for allowing churches to resume choir singing; and what guidance will be published for churches on resuming choir singing safely during the covid-19 outbreak.

Continue reading “Church Commissioner’s Written Answers: choral singing during Covid-19”

Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: financial support and church musicians

On 29th June 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered two written questions on the reopening of churches and financial support for struggling parish churches from Bell Ribeiro-Abby MP.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Streatham): 65019 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England has taken to provide financial support to single parish churches to avoid the redundancy, salary review and staff restructuring of employed musicians.

Andrew Selous: In March, the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council announced over £75m of liquidity support to dioceses and cathedrals. This money included allowing dioceses in financial need to access up to three months forbearance on sums required for the national clergy payroll [or clergy stipends] for a limited period and paying monthly grants in full for 2020. In May the National Church Institutions announced a diocesan grant scheme supported by the Church Commissioners, which totalled up to £35m of sustainability funding.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: financial support and church musicians”

Church Commissioner questions: church building reopening, weddings, housing, public worship, music, online services, family life, church finances and the Transition Pathway Initiative

On 25th June 20202 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions from MPs in the House of Commons, on: church building reopening, weddings, housing, public worship, music, online services, family life, church finances and the Transition Pathway Initiative. A transcript is below:

Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: church building reopening, weddings, housing, public worship, music, online services, family life, church finances and the Transition Pathway Initiative”

Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Reopening Churches

On 9th June 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on the reopening of churches, from Dr Luke Evans MP.

Dr Luke Evans (Bosworth): 53638 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps he is taking to ensure that places of worship can open for (a) private prayer and (b) active worship in compliance with social distancing measures as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Andrew Selous: The Government has announced that from the 15th June Church of England places of worship may be opened for individual prayer, alongside those of other faiths.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Reopening Churches”

Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Church Service Attendance

On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on church service attendance, from Alexander Stafford MP.

Alexander Stafford (Rother Valley): 47487 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what is the average church attendance each week in (a) Rother Valley Constituency, (b) Yorkshire, and (c) England in each year of the last five years.

rsz_1andrew_profile_2Andrew Selous: The most recent survey of church attendance was published in 2018, and the table below contains figures aggregated from 2014-18 using average weekly attendance figures at all age services. These figures are collected each year during four weeks in October.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Church Service Attendance”

Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Reopening Churches

On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on the reopening of churches, from Tracey Crouch MP.

Tracey Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford): 902801 To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church of England has made of the potential effect on public health of reopening churches.

rsz_1andrew_profile_2Andrew Selous: The House of Bishops meets regularly to review its own guidance to clergy in light of Government and public health advice.

On 5th May the House of Bishops issued new guidance, which can be seen at: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/house-bishops-backs-phased-approach-revising-access-church-buildings

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Reopening Churches”

Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals during Covid-19

On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner Andrew Selous MP, answered two written questions, from Rachael Maskell MP and Barry Sheerman MP  on the reopening of churches for baptisms, weddings and funerals:

Rachael Maskell (York Central): 902797 To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what the Commissioners’ timetable is for enabling churches to reopen safely for funeral services after the covid-19 lockdown.

rsz_1andrew_profile_2

Andrew Selous: The Church Commissioners do not have responsibility for setting a timetable for the reopening of church buildings for funeral services.

Current guidance from the House of Bishops is not to conduct funeral services in church buildings because of widely expressed concerns about parishes having capacity to conduct such funerals safely, including being able to clean churches thoroughly between services to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. This is guidance, not instruction.

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Church Commissioner Questions – Coronavirus, Access to Worship, Family Life, Education, Clergy Discipline Process and Hospital Chaplains

On 19th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions in the House of Commons on coronavirus, access to worship, family life, education, the clergy discipline process and hospital chaplaincy. A transcript is below:

Church Commissioners

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

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Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – Coronavirus, Access to Worship, Family Life, Education, Clergy Discipline Process and Hospital Chaplains”

Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Coronavirus and Reopening of Churches

On 18th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered two written questions on the reopening of churches, from Dr Luke Evans MP and Andrew Rosindell MP.

Dr Luke Evans (Bosworth): 45480 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps is the Government taking to work with churches and dioceses to ensure the safe opening of churches for religious worship.

Andrew Rosindell (Romford): 45018 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is planning to take to allow it to reopen churches as soon as possible while limiting the risk of spreading covid-19.


SelousAndrew Selous: The Church of England is committed to the reopening of buildings in a phased way, in accordance with the rules, restrictions and timetable established by Government. On 5th May the House of Bishops issued guidance, which can be seen here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/house-bishops-backs-phased-approach-revising-access-church-buildings

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Coronavirus and Reopening of Churches”