Church Commissioners Written Answers: Cathedrals, Church Repair and Maintenance, and Support for Family Relationships, Parenting and Marriage

Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answerto questions from MPs on 2nd December 2022:

Jim Shannon MP (DUP): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, in what way cathedrals are supporting community cohesion in communities they serve.

Andrew Selous MP (Con): First and foremost cathedrals are places of worship, but like parish churches they are also community buildings and often a focus for civic gatherings of faith, political and business leaders in our cities, which facilitate discussions for the common good. They are regularly used for pilgrimages, festivals, concerts, exhibitions and lectures, which are open to all in the community.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answers: Cathedrals, Church Repair and Maintenance, and Support for Family Relationships, Parenting and Marriage”

Church Commissioner Written Answers: Equality Act exemptions and disability access in churches

Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answers to questions from MPs on 8th November 2022:

8th November 2022:

Ben Bradshaw MP (Lab): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what plans the Church of England has to review its exemptions under the Equality Act 2010.

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Bishop of St Albans asks about bats in churches

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 10th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the value of damage caused by bats to the contents and fabric of (1) church buildings, and (2) other historical buildings.

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Church Commissioner Questions: church buildings, racial inequality, freedom of religion or belief, parenting and marriage, gay and lesbian Christians, Christians in the Middle East, church schools

On 27th January 2022 MPs asked the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions in the House of Commons chamber:

Churches and Cathedrals: Sustainability

Jerome Mayhew (Broadland) (Con)

What assessment the Church of England has made of the steps needed to put the maintenance of churches and cathedrals on a sustainable basis. (905258)

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): The Church estimates that over the next five years at least £1.14 billion of maintenance and repairs are needed for churches and cathedrals. The Church is very grateful that 550 churches and cathedrals have already benefited from the culture recovery fund, but there remains an urgent need for predictable and sustainable sources of funding, which enable us to keep skilled builders and craft people in work.

Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: church buildings, racial inequality, freedom of religion or belief, parenting and marriage, gay and lesbian Christians, Christians in the Middle East, church schools”

Church Commissioners Written Answer – Vision and Strategy

Question for Church Commissioners, UIN 31286, tabled on 12 July 2021

Michael Fabricant, (Conservative, Lichfield): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the article by the Revd Marcus Walker, Rector of the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, London, entitled, Is this the last chance to save the Church of England, published in the Spectator on 10 July 2021, what assessment the Church has made of the implications for its policies of the (a) findings of Revd Walker and (b) potential merits of proposals to create 10,000 new lay-led churches in the next 10 years in private homes and public halls.

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Church Commissioner Questions -worship, choral singing, bereavement support, marriage, rewilding, tree planting, net zero targets, regenerative agriculture, Westminster Abbey

On 17th June 2021 MPs put questions to Andrew Selous MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner. Text of the oral and written answers is below.

Oral Questions


Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes) (Con): Whether the Church of England plans to support online and in-person communal worship as covid-19 restrictions are lifted. (901321)


The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): The Church of England is strongly encouraging churches to support both in-person and online communal worship, and training has been given to thousands of clergy to enable this. It is up to local churches to decide how best to do this.

Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions -worship, choral singing, bereavement support, marriage, rewilding, tree planting, net zero targets, regenerative agriculture, Westminster Abbey”

Bishop of Leeds raises inconsistency of covid rules on singing in churches

On 15th June 2021 the House of Lords heard a repeat of a Government statement on covid-19 rules.

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, regardless of matters of hindsight, does the Minister agree that prolonging the restrictions might be justified for certain reasons? I do not demur from that, but the prolonging of inconsistencies is a serious impediment to public adherence to the rules. You do not have to look very far to see where the discipline broke down a long time ago. For example—this is not special pleading; it is just at the forefront of my mind—you can sing in a pub but not in a church. This is what brings the rules into disrepute, and therefore people do not agree with them.

Secondly, can the Minister say something in response to Michael Gove’s reported comments about acceptable death rates? We have learned to live with acceptable death rates from flu and other seasonal diseases. Will the Government do some work on what might be an acceptable death rate from Covid in future and be up-front with the country as to what that might be? I think we can take it.

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Bishop of Blackburn asks about energy saving for schools and heritage buildings

On 25th May 2021 the Bishop of Blackburn asked a question about finding energy saving solutions for historic and educational buildings.

The Lord Bishop of Blackburn: My Lords, I am grateful for the Question and the Minister’s response. My question is about the outcome for the many heritage buildings and schools in this country, where the challenge is often the greatest. Will the Government do anything to make them part of the solution rather than the problem?

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Church Commissioners written answer: St Paul’s Cathedral

Andrew Rosindell (Conservative Romford): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to ensure the future of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Andrew Selous (Conservative South West Bedfordshire): The Church Commissioners and other National Church Institutions have been in regular contact with the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral throughout the pandemic as they have with all the Anglican cathedrals in England. The Church Commissioners made additional financial support available to all cathedrals and dioceses throughout the pandemic over and above the financial support they regularly make available.

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Church Commissioner Questions: public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support, consistory court appeals

On 26th November MPs put questions to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, on public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support and consistory court appeals. A transcript is below:

Church Commissioners

The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners was asked—

Covid-19 Lockdown: Public Worship

Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con): What representations the Church of England has made to the Government on the importance of public worship during periods of covid-19 lockdown. [909344] Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: public worship, tree planting, Christmas services, gender-based violence, Living in Love and Faith, cathedral services, Christian persecution, community support, consistory court appeals”

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