Church Commissioners’ answer – Cathedral entry charges

On 13th September 2017 Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about admission charges for cathedrals and abbeys:

Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment she has made of the effect of admission costs for cathedrals and abbeys in England on the ability of UK families to visit such places. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ answer – Cathedral entry charges”

Church Commissioners’ Questions – Food Poverty, Rural Church Growth

On the 20th July 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP answered two oral questions to the Church Commissioners  in the House of Commons, on food poverty and on growing the rural church. A transcript of the questions and follow-up questions by MPs on other issues, are reproduced below.

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

 Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) (Lab):  What steps the Church of England is taking to tackle food poverty. [900618] 

Seventy-five per cent. of churches collect food, 38% provide volunteers, 29% help to manage a food bank, and 21% distribute food vouchers. Churches also work in partnership with organisations such as Citizens Advice and Christians Against Poverty to tackle the underlying causes of food poverty.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Questions – Food Poverty, Rural Church Growth”

Caroline Spelman raises plight of displaced Christians and religious minorities in Mosul, Iraq

On 12th July 2017 the Secretary of State for International Development, Rt Hon Priri Patel MP, made a statement to the House of Commons about the humanitarian situation in Mosul, Iraq. The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, asked a follow up question:

Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): Mosul was home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the region, but religious minorities suffered dreadfully at the hands of ISIS. What can DFID do to ensure that such minorities are able to return to their place of origin? Continue reading “Caroline Spelman raises plight of displaced Christians and religious minorities in Mosul, Iraq”

Church Commissioners’ answer: bats in churches

On 10th July 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about bats and church buildings:
Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Commissioners have had with Church of England representatives on encouraging clergy to install bat boxes to provide alternative accommodation for these mammals. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ answer: bats in churches”

Church Commissioners’ answer: Camping in church buildings

On 10th July 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Matthew Offord MP about camping inside church buildings:
Dr Matthew Offord (Hendon) To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Commissioners have had with Church of England representatives on expanding the availability of champing in England’s churches.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ answer: Camping in church buildings”

Caroline Spelman raises Christian persecution worldwide and blasphemy case in Pakistan

On 4th July 2017 the House of Commons debated a motion from Jim Shannon MP (DUP), ‘That this House has considered persecution of Christians and the role of UK embassies.’ The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, spoke in the debate:

Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): Thank you, Mr Hanson, for calling me because I omitted to put in to speak last night, for which I apologise. It was an oversight, but one that I should not have committed.

An interesting cross-section of Members of Parliament is in attendance to support my hon. Friend the Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) who, as chair of the all-party group on international freedom of religion or belief, had the foresight to call for this debate. We welcome to the Chamber new Members who are showing their concern for the persecuted, and returning Members who we know through their faith will take a stand for the persecuted. As my hon. Friend the Member for Torbay (Kevin Foster) so eloquently put it, we are all here to show our solidarity, and that is the important point. Some Members may not even speak, but we are numerous and we wish the persecuted out there to know that. Continue reading “Caroline Spelman raises Christian persecution worldwide and blasphemy case in Pakistan”

Church Commissioners: projects tackling homelessness

On 24th April 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Kevin Foster MP about homelessness:

Kevin Foster MP: [71313] To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to support local projects tackling homelessness.

Dame Caroline Spelman: At parish and diocesan level the Church is closely involved in providing support to homeless people through night shelters and other activities, and raising funds and awareness. Recently in the House of Lords bishops supported the Homelessness Reduction Bill. Continue reading “Church Commissioners: projects tackling homelessness”