MPs Pass the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill – debate transcript

Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill

House of Commons, 19th January 2015

 

Westminster-abbey3.37 pm

Allocation of Time

The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons (Tom Brake):

I beg to move,

That the following provisions shall apply to the proceedings on the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill–

Timetable

1.- (1) Proceedings on Second Reading, in Committee, on consideration and on Third Reading shall be completed at this day’s sitting…..

The motion applies to the proceedings on the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill. The motion timetables all stages of the Bill, guaranteeing six hours debate, with up to four hours on Second Reading and a further two hours for Committee and remaining stages.

This is a short, single-issue Bill that the Government have introduced in response to the recent decision by the Church of England to allow women to be consecrated as bishops. The provisions will fast-track female diocesan bishops in the House of Lords, as current legislation will otherwise mean it would be many years before female bishops could take seats on the Lords Spiritual Benches.

More will be said about the detail of the provisions and the necessity for this legislation when we come to debating the Bill itself. This is an important Bill, strongly supported by both the Government and the Church, and it has broad support across the House. It is a tightly focused Bill with only one substantive clause, and it is for that reason that the motion allocates six hours for debate. I commend the motion to the House. Continue reading “MPs Pass the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill – debate transcript”

MPs to debate Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill on 19th January

On 8th January 2015 the Leader of the House of Commons told MPs that the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill would have all stages debated in the Commons on the 19th January. The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, welcomed the news.

The First Secretary of State and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr William Hague) [extract]:..The provisional business for the week commencing 19 January will include:

Monday 19 January—Consideration of an allocation of time motion, followed by all stages of the Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill…

Continue reading “MPs to debate Lords Spiritual (Women) Bill on 19th January”

Second Church Estates Commissioner answers questions on Grants available for Churches and about the savings made from the new Parliamentary Q&A System

Church CommissionersOn Wednesday 17 December 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioners, the Rt Hon. Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered written questions from Robin Walker MP about grants available for church repairs, and from Chi Onwurah MP about the savings being made from the new Parliamentary Q&A system.
Continue reading “Second Church Estates Commissioner answers questions on Grants available for Churches and about the savings made from the new Parliamentary Q&A System”

Church Commissioner Questions – Bats, Buildings, Elections

During the regular slot for questions to the Church Commissioners in the House of Commons on 11th December 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, was asked about maintenance of cathedrals, church repairs, bat damage in churches and general election hustings. A full transcript is below.

Church Commissioners

14.01 CCQ BaldryThe right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—

English Cathedrals (Maintenance)

Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): [Question:] What representations he has made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on funding for maintenance of the fabric of English cathedrals that are older than 500 years. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – Bats, Buildings, Elections”

Sir Tony Baldry welcomes investment in Cathedrals

On 27th November 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, asked a supplementary question about funding for cathedrals during questions to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The exchange is reproduced in full below.14.01 CCQ Baldry

Cathedrals

Mr Robin Walker (Worcester): What recent funding his Department has provided for the fabric of cathedrals in England. [906279]

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Sajid Javid): In this year’s Budget, the Chancellor announced a £20 million fund to allow cathedrals to undertake urgent repair work. As my hon. Friend knows, that included £330,000 for the beautiful Worcester cathedral. In addition, cathedrals have access to the listed places of worship grant scheme, which has a budget of up to £42 million per annum.

Mr Walker: I am grateful for that answer. May I add my condolences on the tragic death of Phil Hughes, who is fondly remembered in Worcestershire, where he used to play? I was pleased recently to welcome the Secretary of State to Worcester cathedral for a magnificent performance of Shakespeare. Will he join me in celebrating the fact that, in the year that Bishop John of Worcester has taken the lead for the Church of England on cathedrals and church buildings, the east window at Worcester cathedral will be being restored with that grant of £330,000?

Sajid Javid: May I first say to my hon. Friend that I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the cathedral with him and seeing “Julius Caesar”. It is an excellent demonstration of how our cathedrals can be open to so many activities in our local communities. In fact, I have seen similar events recently at Rochester and Portsmouth cathedrals. With regard to Bishop John, I was actually just discussing that very matter with His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday, and I join my hon. Friend in warmly congratulating the bishop on his position.

Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury): I warmly thank the Secretary of State for the £20 million grant for cathedrals, which has enabled some 41 cathedrals to carry out various works and repairs from fixing leaking roofs, repairing stained-glass windows and spires and carrying out many other important works to enable them to commemorate the centenary celebrations. Does my right hon. Friend agree that cathedrals are powerful symbols of our shared history and are also the envy of the world? They bring in many tourists, so this investment by the state in our cathedrals is great value for taxpayers.

Sajid Javid: Yes, I agree fully with my right hon. Friend. He will know that of the £20 million we allocated in that grant, £13 million has been used so there is still about £7 million left to go. I urge other cathedrals to take advantage of that and to work to help their local communities.

(via Parliament.uk)

Second Church Estates Commissioner answers questions in the House of Commons

On 30th October 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered questions in the House of Commons on the subjects of the ordination of women, extremism, episcopal vacancies and Church investments.

The full transcript of the question session is reproduced below:

Ordination of Women

14.01 CCQ BaldryDiana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North): What assessment the Church of England has made of the potential effects of clause 2 of the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure 2014 on women. [905729]

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry): The Church’s memorandum to the Ecclesiastical Committee gave a detailed assessment of that provision. I also refer the hon. Lady to the Lords Hansard report for 14 October, in which the Archbishop of Canterbury ably explained clause 2. I tried to explain it when I took the measure through the House but, given that she has tabled this question, clearly I lamentably failed.

Diana Johnson: I welcome the fact that we have recently had this long overdue Measure through Parliament, and the hon. Gentleman will know that I have put in an early bid for the Bishop of Hull to be a woman. However, I am concerned about clause 2. Does he share my concern that this country’s established Church will not be governed by the laws of this land? I think that it is a very odd situation for the established Church to be in.

Sir Tony Baldry: We are very much governed by the laws of this land, which is why the Measure had to go to the Ecclesiastical Committee, a statutory Committee of both Houses of Parliament, and then had to be approved by both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and last week you, Mr Speaker, announced that it had been granted Royal Assent. Had the hon. Lady had serious concerned about clause 2, she could have raised them in the debate—[Interruption.] Yes, she did raise them, but if I had not managed to assuage those concerns for her and the House sufficiently, she could have divided the House on the matter. Parliament has now agreed to the Measure and—this is the substantive point—the only reason it is here is to help ensure that the arrangements work; it is not putting the Church of England outside gender and equality legislation. Were it to do so, I have absolutely no doubt that the Government would have opposed it.

Continue reading “Second Church Estates Commissioner answers questions in the House of Commons”

House of Commons approves the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure

Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure

20th October, 2014

[Relevant document: The 233rd Report from the Ecclesiastical Committee, Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure, HC 622.]

5.07 pm

Green BenchesThe Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry):

I beg to move,

That the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure (HC 621), passed by the General Synod of the Church of England, be presented to Her Majesty for her Royal Assent in the form in which it was laid before Parliament.

It is now nearly a century since Parliament recognised that it should no longer be the body that initiated legislation concerning the running of the Church of England. However, Church legislation becomes part of the law of England, so it requires parliamentary approval and Royal Assent. A Measure such as the one before us has to have been passed by the General Synod of the Church of England. Most Measures require simple majorities in the Synod, but this one falls in that special category of particularly important instruments that need to have achieved at least two-thirds majorities in each of the Houses of Bishops, Clergy and Laity. Continue reading “House of Commons approves the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure”

Second Church Estates Commissioner answers questions on televisions and Church Commissioner land

On Wednesday 10 September 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioners, the Rt Hon. Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered written questions from Helen Goodman MP about the sale of land in Bishop Auckland, and from Ben Bradshaw MP about purchased televisions.

 

Tony Baldry MP

 Church of England: Land

Helen Goodman: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church Commissioners have set criteria excluding some bidders from the purchase of its land currently for sale near Bishop Auckland.

Sir Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners are operating an open and transparent marketing and bidding process for the property for sale near Bishop Auckland.

The Church Commissioners’ bidding process leaves no room for undue influence by any interested party. The Church Commissioners have not set criteria that would exclude any party from submitting offers, and all offers will be considered without prejudice or preference.

As a registered charity the Church Commissioners are under a legal duty to demonstrate that they have maximised the proceeds of sale of their assets to fund the wider mission and ministry of the Church of England, particularly in areas of need. Continue reading “Second Church Estates Commissioner answers questions on televisions and Church Commissioner land”

Church Commissioners – Oral and Written Questions

On 17th July 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered a number of questions on the floor of the House of Commons, during the monthly Church Commissioner Questions slot. He answered questions on food banks, church and cathedral repairs, human trafficking and women bishops. He also answered a written question on Church Commissioners ICT. A full transcript of the session is reproduced below:

14.01 CCQ Baldry

Food Banks

Hugh Bayley (York Central) (Lab): What support the Church of England is giving to food banks.

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry): Four in five of the Church of England’s 13,000 parish churches are supporting local food banks. Continue reading “Church Commissioners – Oral and Written Questions”

Written Answers – Second Church Estates Commissioner

On 15th July 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon. Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered two written questions on behalf of the Church Commissioners, on pay and procurement.

Tony Baldry MP

Pay

Mr Ben Bradshaw: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, how many officials in the Church Commissioners, of each grade, have remained at that grade since 2010 but received a pay rise; and how much of a rise each such person at each such grade has received.

Sir Tony Baldry: The staff employed by the Church Commissioners and the other national institutions of the Church of England are not part of the civil service and are not on incremental scales. The value of pay awards from 2010 have been as follows: Continue reading “Written Answers – Second Church Estates Commissioner”