Church Commissioner Questions: serious youth violence, clergy recruitment in London, cathedrals and the economy, employee pay gap, responsible investments, mobile phone masts, Christian persecution

On 20th June 2019 MPs asked questions of Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, the Second Church Estates Commissioner. Questions were asked about serious youth violence, clergy recruitment in London, the contribution of cathedrals to the local economy, employee pay gap, responsible investments, mobile phone masts, and persecution of Christians:


The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—

Serious Youth Violence

Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham) (Con)
1. What steps the Church of England is taking to help tackle serious youth violence; and if she will make a statement. [911477]

Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford) (Lab)
7. What steps the Church of England is taking to help tackle serious youth violence; and if she will make a statement. [911484]

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): The Church was represented at the knife crime summit organised by the Prime Minister at No. 10 earlier this year, and the General Synod will be debating this subject at its session next month. There is no question but that this issue is of the utmost seriousness, as too many young lives are being lost.

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Caroline Spelman highlights Church schools works in teaching financial literacy

spelman170119cOn 19th June 2019 the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen) made a statement on supporting people in problem debt. The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, asked a follow-up question:

Dame Caroline Spelman: I welcome this statement and the Government going beyond their original manifesto commitment. It gives me a chance to thank my citizens advice bureau, which has done fantastic work on debt rescheduling during my 22 years as an MP.

Does the Minister welcome the Church of England’s initiative to teach financial literacy in its primary schools, and would he encourage rolling out such an approach to prevention more widely?

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House of Commons passes Church Representation and Ministers Measure

On 18th June 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, introduced the Church Representation and Ministers Measure to the House of Commons. The Measure was passed by MPs and will receive Royal Assent.

Dame Caroline Spelman: I beg to move,spelman170119c

That the Church Representation and Ministers Measure (HC 2167), 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.

The Measure and the new rules it contains emerged from the work of a simplification task group established by the Archbishops’ Council. The task group’s role was to bring forward proposals to remove constraints on the mission and growth of the Church of England resulting from existing legislation and processes. It recommended three major ways in which that could be achieved. First, those processes needed to be made less burdensome to the clergy and laity. Secondly, parishes should be given much greater flexibility over their constitutional arrangements, so that they can operate in the way that is most effective for the mission, life and work of the local church. Thirdly, the administrative burdens for those involved in running multi-parish benefices, especially in a rural context where the number of parishes in a benefice can be considerable, needed to be radically reduced.

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Church Commissioners Written Answer: Thy Kingdom Come

spelman170119On 18th June 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question, from Gregory Campbell MP, on transformative projects:

Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry): 264348 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, which projects the Church of England funded to help transform communities as part of the Thy Kingdom Come events.

Dame Caroline Spelman: Thy Kingdom Come is an ecumenical prayer movement started by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2017, which has grown into an annual global movement of prayer. It is supported by His Holiness the Pope and in 2018 over 65 different denominations and traditions held events across 114 countries. Major beacon events took place in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. More information can be found here.

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Church Commissioners Written Answer: Affordable housing

On 13th June 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Frank Field MP on affordable housing:

Frank Field (Birkenhead):  262248 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 5 June 2019 to Question 259013, how many affordable homes have been built by the Church of England or its agents in each local authority area since 2015; and what the affordable housing requirement is in each of those local authority areas.

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Church Commissioner Written Answers: Land and forestry in Scotland

On 13th June 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered three written questions from Deidre Brock MP on church land and forestry holdings in Scotland:

Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith) 262402 : To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what the Church of England’s landholdings are in Scotland.

Dame Caroline Spelman: The Church Commissioners hold 12,333.67 hectares of land in Scotland.


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Church Commissioners Written Answer: Coal use in churches and vicarages

On 13th June 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Philip Davies MP on coal use in churches and vicarages:
Philip Davies (Shipley) 263116: To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment she made of the economic effect on churches and vicarages of the ban on house coal.

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