On 17th January 2019 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions from MPs on historic church buildings, Christian persecution overseas, and the promotion of marriage. A full transcript follows:
The right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—
Protection of Historic Church Buildings
Alex Burghart (Brentwood and Ongar) (Con): What steps the Church of England is taking to ensure that historic church buildings are protected. 
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): The Church of England continues to suffer thefts of metal and other items of historical and architectural interest from its churches. The Archbishop’s Council conducted an inquiry into this, and the trend appears to be gradually moving from east to west and from south to north. I encourage my hon. Friend to look at the Church of England [Churchcare] website for ways of protecting his churches more successfully. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: historic buildings, Christian persecution overseas, promoting marriage”
On 19th December 2018 the Bishop of Chichester introduced four Church of England Measures to the House of Lords for approval. The House passed the Measures after a short debate and so they were granted Royal Assent on 20th December . The House of Commons had previously passed the Measures on 11th December.
Moved by the Lord Bishop of Chichester
That this House do direct that, in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919, the Ecumenical Relations Measure, the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, the Church Property Measure and the Church of England Pensions Measure be presented to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent.
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, the four Measures before us deal with significant areas of the Church of England’s life in ways that strengthen, update or consolidate her mission. Continue reading “Lords approves four Church of England Measures, on property, pensions, ecumenism and miscellaneous”
On the 11th December 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP introduced four Church of England Measures to the House of Commons Delegated Legislation Committee. The Committee approved the Measures following discussion.
Third Delegated Legislation Committee
[Stewart Hosie in the Chair]
Tuesday 11 December 2018
Ecumenical Relations Measure, Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, Church Property Measure and Church of England Pensions Measure
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Dame Caroline Spelman): I beg to move,
That the Committee has considered the Ecumenical Relations Measure (HC 1687).
The Chair: With this it will be convenient to consider the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure (HC 1688), Church Property Measure (HC 1689) and Church of England Pensions Measure (HC 1690).
Dame Caroline Spelman: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hosie. To some colleagues, this may be an unusual format for the Committee. I would like to explain that the Measures that we are considering have been through the Ecclesiastical Committee, which is composed of Members from both Houses, is cross-party and is chaired by Lady Butler-Sloss. On 24 October, we went through all these Measures in considerable detail, and I have the report of that careful scrutiny, so I hope that today we may be able to deal with the Measures expeditiously.
Continue reading “Church Measures on buildings, pensions, ecumenism and miscellaneous provisions, approved by House of Commons”
On 27th November 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question about support for redundant or under-utilised churches:
Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what support the Church Commissioners receive from Her Majesty’s Government to enable them to maintain (a) redundant and (b) under-utilised churches. Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer – redundant churches”
On the 10th May 2018 the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster spoke in a debate hosted by Lord Faulkner of Worcester about the Scrap Metal Dealers Act. Bishop Peter welcomed the act and the reduction of thefts but highlighted the need to tighten up the act and questioned whether sentencing of criminals of metal theft truly reflected the impact and scale of this particular type of theft to the historic building and the local community. Baroness Williams responded for the Government, her remarks can be found below.
Continue reading “Bishop of Chester highlights continued need to combat metal theft from churches”
On 19th March 2018, Dame Caroline Spelman, the Second Church Estates Commissioner, answered a written question from Sir Mark Hendrick, the Labour/Co-op Member for Preston, about churches involved in the WiSpire scheme:
Sir Mark Hendrick: To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the answer of 13 March 2018 to Question 131116 on Churches: Blackburn, what assessment has been made of the potential merits of drafting contracts for church spires and towers to host broadband and mobile facilities which take into account circumstances in which Church authorities subsequently wish to demolish such buildings to make alternative use of Church land.
Continue reading “Caroline Spelman answers written question about WiSpire”
On the 8th March the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP answered written and oral questions in the House of Commons. Questions covered a range of issues including the Church Investors Group, digital connectivity, environmental taxation, homelessness, the Holy Sepulchre, church infrastructure and financial education in church schools.
Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions, Church Investors Group, Digital Connectivity, Environmental Taxation, Homelessness, the Holy Sepulchre, Church Infrastructure and Financial Education”