In Church Commissioners’ question time in the House of Commons on 27th March Sir Tony Baldry MP was asked by MPs to answer questions on cathedral repairs, same-sex marriage, investment returns, diocesan mission and church growth.
In Westminster Hall on Thursday 20th March 2014, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP led a short debate on the role and contribution of women to the ordained ministry of the Church of England. The debate celebrated the 20th anniversary of the ordination of the first women as priests in the CofE and looked ahead, both to the ongoing process to legislate for female bishops, as well as enabling them to sit in the House of Lords without delay. Sir Tony Baldry MP responded in his capacity as Second Church Estates Commissioner, and contributions were made by Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP, Sir Peter Bottomley MP and Helen Goodman MP. The Equalities Minister Helen Grant MP was also present to hear the speeches.
A full transcript is reproduced here and a recording of the debate can also be watched on the UK Parliament website here. Continue reading “MPs Celebrate Contribution of Women to the Ordained Ministry of the Church of England”
On Wednesday 20th March 2013, the Second Church Estates Commissioner Sir Tony Baldry MP posed a written question to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice asking about the plans to mitigate the impact of bats upon churches
Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered a number of written questions from Pamela Nash MP on the Church of England, Churches and LGBT people.
Church of England
Pamela Nash: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of recent trends in the proportion of Church of England congregations that are(a) from black and Asian minority ethnic groups, (b) women, (c) disabled people and (d) from low-income groups.
Sir Tony Baldry: The most recent assessment of the proportion of Church of England congregations that are women and from Black and Asian minority ethnic groups was in the 2007 Congregational Diversity Audit. This was the first time such a survey had been conducted, and therefore no trends are yet available. It did not record information on people with disabilities and those from low-income groups.
The 2007 Diversity Audit showed that Black and Black British adults were more likely to belong to Church of England local congregations than their White counterparts. This results in a stronger picture of congregational strength in those dioceses where the presence of Black and Black British adults is high, for example, urban areas. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP answers written questions from Pamela Nash MP”
Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered two written questions from Tessa Munt MP on the Church Commissioners plans for the Palace at Wells.
Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what consideration the Church Commissioners gave to the historical or other interest of the residence at the Bishop’s Palace at Wells before planning alternative accommodation for the bishop in accordance with section 4 of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure 1943.
Sir Tony Baldry: Section 4 of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure 1943 applies only where the Commissioners propose to exercise a power conferred by that Measure—that is to say, to transfer a house to the diocesan authority, convert it for use for other purposes, sell, let or otherwise dispose of it, or demolish it or part of it. The Commissioners have not exercised any of those powers in relation to the Palace, as the intention is that the Bishop will continue to work and worship there. Continue reading “Palace at Bath and Wells: Church Commissioners’ Written Answers”
Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered a written question from Anne McIntosh MP about rural affairs.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, when he last met the Rural Affairs Group of the Church of England.
Sir Tony Baldry: I have not attended a meeting of the Rural Affairs Group of the Church of England. I am kept fully informed about the relevant issues concerning the committee when needed by the National Rural Officer and the Church of England’s Parliamentary Unit.
During Business Questions in the House of Commons, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, drew attention to the Ash Wednesday Eucharist taking place the following week in the Parliamentary Chapel, at which the Archbishop of Canterbury would preside. The Leader of the House responded.
Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): Will my right hon. Friend ensure that on Tuesday evening, the House finishes its business promptly at 7 o’clock, so that we can all get home, finish our pancakes, and have an early night, as on Wednesday, the first day of Lent, at 7.45 am, the Archbishop of Canterbury is celebrating Holy Communion in the Undercroft chapel? Everyone working in the Palace of Westminster is very welcome to attend.
Mr Lansley: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend, and I am sure that the House appreciates the opportunity to go to the Ash Wednesday service that he advertises. I think that there is nothing on the Order Paper at the moment that would require us to extend our proceedings beyond the moment of interruption at 7 o’clock on Tuesday.
On 25th February 2014, Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered a written question from Anne McIntosh on floods.
Sir Tony Baldry: Following my comments to the House on 13 February 2014, Official Report, column 1010, the Church Urban Fund have launched a ‘Flood Appeal Fund’. This follows highly successful funds set up in 2000 and the year 2007 where the Church Urban Fund and the Church of England co-ordinated the collection of money to help support flood victims and businesses. Continue reading “Floods – Church Commissioners’ Written Answer”
In Church Commissioners’ question time in the House of Commons on 13th February 2014, Sir Tony Baldry MP was asked by MPs to answer questions on overseas visits by Archbishops, the residence of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the use of church buildings, credit unions and flooding.
Transcript (via Parliament.uk):
Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry MP, answered three written questions from Tessa Munt MP on the Church Commissioners plans for the Palace at Wells.
Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2014, Official report, column 317W on Bishop of Bath and Wells, in relation to the Bishop’s living accommodation, what repairs or maintenance were identified in the Church Commissioners Quinquennial Review dated 2013.
Sir Tony Baldry: The reason for moving the Bishop’s accommodation is to give the Bishop more privacy and not to do with the cost of repairs and restoration to the flat. Continue reading “Bishop’s Palace in Wells: Church Commissioners’ Written Answers”