On 30th November 2015 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Mark Hendrick MP on vandalism of graves in churchyards.
Mr Mark Hendrick (Preston): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, how many graves in each church yard in each diocese in England were vandalised in 2014.
Mrs Caroline Spelman: The information requested is not retained at the national level and would incur a disproportionate cost to produce.
Wilful damage and theft of monumental stonework causes much emotional and financial distress. The Church is continuing to work with local Dioceses, police, insurers and local communities to improve security and awareness.
On the 20th November 2015 the Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a written question about property development in Peterborough.
Mr Stewart Jackson (Peterborough):
To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, for what reason the Church Commissioners have not released land for the construction of a primary school, in accordance with previous legal undertakings, at the Paston Reserve urban extension in Peterborough; and if she will make a statement.
Mrs Caroline Spelman: The Church Commissioners are involved in the development of Paston Reserve in Peterborough. Within the development there is provision for a site and financial contributions towards the delivery of a primary school site as outlined within the agreed Section 106 legal agreement that accompanied the planning permission and that was varied by agreement with the Council in 2010. The Section 106 agreement provides that the primary school site must be delivered prior to any house occupation on the third phase of development on the site and also outlines the trigger points at which the financial contributions for the school will be provided. Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer on property development in Peterborough”
On the 5th November 2015 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered oral questions in the House of Commons on: women bishops, funeral poverty, the tribunal case of Jeremy Pemberton, the Church’s carbon footprint and a memorial day for civilian casualties of the Second World War. A full transcript is below.
The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners was asked—
1. Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North) (Lab): What assessment she has made of the effect of the introduction of the first woman bishop to the Lords Spiritual on the Church of England; and if she will make a statement.  Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions – Women bishops, funeral poverty, employment tribunal, carbon footprint, WW2 Civilian Memorials”
On 28th October 2015 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, on the church’s work in promoting credit unions.
Gareth Thomas: To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church Commissioners are taking to promote the use of credit unions in the work of the Church of England; and if she will make a statement.
Mrs Caroline Spelman: The Church of England’s work in support of credit unions has been led by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Task Group on Responsible Credit and Savings, chaired by Sir Hector Sants.
Nationally, the Task Group has developed a number of strategic, church-led initiatives, including matching the resources of local churches with the diverse needs of local credit unions through the Church Credit Champions Network. To date, the pilot scheme has engaged over 200 churches, trained 150 Credit Champions and is on target to bring in 3,000+ new credit union members across London, Southwark and Liverpool dioceses, with plans to roll out to 30 more dioceses from next year. Continue reading “Update on the work of the Church in promoting credit unions – written answer”
On 27th October 2015, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from the MP for Peterborough, Stewart Jackson, about land for housing development near Peterborough. Continue reading “Church Commissioners asked about land for housing”
On the 11th September 2015 the House of Commons considered the Assisted Dying Bill, a private member’s bill tabled by Rob Marris MP. Caroline Spelman MP, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, spoke during the debate.
MPs rejected the Bill in the subsequent vote by 330 to 118 votes.
Mrs Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): I respect the sincerely held views of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton South West (Rob Marris). The whole nation will be looking at our debate on this issue today and it is right that we show respect for the strongly held views on all sides, but I beg to differ with him.
Historically, our society has abhorred suicide and based that view on the principle of the sanctity of life, but that argument is becoming harder to make in an increasingly secular society. The view that life is a gift from God with all that it entails, including pain and suffering, and that it is not for us to bring it to an end, is perceived to be at odds with the prevailing view of our rights, including a perceived right to end our own life. Continue reading “Assisted Dying Bill – speech by Caroline Spelman”
On 10th September 2015 Caroline Spelman, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered two oral questions in the House of Commons,on climate Change and open and sustainable churches.
Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) (Lab): What steps the Church Commissioners are taking to support the Church of England’s international efforts to tackle climate change. 
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Mrs Caroline Spelman): The Church of England, along with the wider Anglican Communion, is actively tacking climate change in four ways: assessing its investment strategy and, where necessary, divesting in the context of our climate change policy; actively engaging with public policy; attending the forthcoming Paris conference; and encouraging its parishes to reduce their carbon footprint and their parishioners to do the same. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ questions – climate change and open church buildings”