Second Estates Commissioner welcomes relationships education in schools

On 16th July 2019 in the House of Commons Emma Hardy MP (Lab) asked an urgent question to the Secretary of State for Education on whether “he will make a statement on what steps he is taking to counter misinformation about the content of relationship education in schools”. The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, asked a follow-up question:

Dame Caroline Spelman: The Church of England, the largest provider of primary education, fully supports this updating of the guidance. As the Minister says, it has not been updated for the past 20 years, and childhood has changed greatly during that time. Does the Minister agree that one of the imperatives for this change must be to protect pupils and keep them safe in the complex online world that they inhabit? My heart goes out to the children caught up in all this.

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Church Commissioners written answer: Metal theft from churches

spelman170119dOn 8th July 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Sir Oliver Heald on theft from churches:

Sir Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire): 269594 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Commissioners will make an estimate of the number of thefts of lead from church buildings in (a) the diocese of St Albans and (b) England in (i) 2018 and (ii) 2019 to date. Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answer: Metal theft from churches”

Church Commissioners written answers: Church tourism and local economy

spelman170119eOn 26th June 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered two written questions from Jim Shannon MP (Strangford) on Church-based tourism and community development:

Jim Shannon MP: 271461 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England has taken to promote tourism to its churches and cathedrals.

Dame Caroline Spelman: The Church of England welcomes the Government’s new Tourism Sector Deal, which encompasses all our churches and cathedrals and will give a significant boost to our cultural heritage. Cathedrals in England attract over 10 million visitors a year, the majority as tourists.

The Church supports the work of the Churches Visitor and Tourism Association on several initiatives that help the public learn more about their local churches:

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Church Commissioners written answer: lead theft

On 1st July 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Sir Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire) on lead theft from churches:

Sir Oliver Heald: 269594 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, if the Commissioners will make an estimate of the number of thefts of lead from church buildings in (a) the diocese of St Albans and (b) England in (i) 2018 and (ii) 2019 to date.

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Church Commissioners written answer: Scottish landholdings

On 26th June 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Deidre Brock MP on landholdings in Scotland:
Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith): 267754 To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 13 June 2019 to Question 262402, if she will provide the details of those landholdings.

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Caroline Spelman asks Foreign Secretary about religious literacy of diplomats

spelman170119dOn 25th June 2019  during Foreig Office Questions, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, asked the Foreign Secretary about diplomats and religious literacy:

Dame Caroline Spelman: This Foreign Secretary deserves credit for setting up an independent review into the persecution of Christians worldwide, but will he ensure that a lasting legacy is achieved, whatever the outcome of that review, by ensuring that diplomats who are sent to countries where persecution occurs receive training in religious literacy?

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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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