Church Commissioner Written Answers: Church closures, status of churches and clergy

On 5th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered two written questions from Alexander Stafford MP about church building closures and status of clergy during coronavirus restrictions:

Alexander Stafford (Rother Valley): 42227 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, when churches will be re-opened for worshippers.

Andrew Selous: It is essential that when church buildings reopen for public worship or private prayer by members of the public, that it is done safely. In the meantime, churches across the country are holding virtual services and offering support to the vulnerable and elderly. Where they are unable to do this locally national resources are available such as the national church service on a Sunday and the Daily Hope phone line. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Written Answers: Church closures, status of churches and clergy”

Church Commissioners’ written answer: cashless giving

On 24th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question from Steve Baker MP on cashless donations in parishes:
Mr Steve Baker (Wycombe): 32147 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to change the way parish donations are collected in response to reductions in the use of cash.

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Church Commissioners’ written answer: graveyard maintenance

On 24th March 2020 the Second Church Estate Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question from Aaron Bell MP, on graveyard maintenance:
Aaron Bell (Newcastle-under-Lyme): 32199 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to ensure the maintenance of its burial grounds.

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Church Commissioner Questions – Church closures, coronavirus, persecuted Christians, marriage support

On 19th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions in the House of Commons on church closures, coronavirus, persecution of Christians, and marriage support. A transcript is below:

Church Commissioners

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

Church Closure and Use

Bob Blackman (Harrow East) (Con):

  1. To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what criteria the Church of England uses to decide when to close a church and offer the building to other denominations and traditions. [901629]

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): I am pleased to be able to tell my hon. Friend that the Church opens as many, if not more churches than it closes each year. Parishes may want to focus their mission elsewhere, if the church in question is in a very remote rural location or if there is a very high repair bill. Use for worship by other Christian bodies is generally considered the best use, but there are many other suitable uses.

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Church Commissioners’ written answers: carbon reduction, cashless donations, South Sudan, Uganda, lead theft, graveyard records

On 18th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered seven written questions from Jim Shannon MP, on carbon reduction, cashless donations, South Sudan, Uganda, lead theft and graveyard records:

Jim Shannon (Strangford): 29873 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to use its investments to support business transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Andrew Selous: As responsible investors and members of the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, the Church Commissioners regard climate change as a vital issue and have pledged to transition their investment to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions portfolio by 2050. They will set their first interim emissions reduction target as members of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance in 2020 and will work with their public equities managers to achieve it. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ written answers: carbon reduction, cashless donations, South Sudan, Uganda, lead theft, graveyard records”

Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Marriages

On 18th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question from Sir Desmond Swayne MP on marriages:

Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West): 28560 To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, in what circumstances a Church of Scotland minister is able to conduct a wedding in the Church of England. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answer: Marriages”

Church Commissioners Written Answer: Travellers, plans to tackle racism

On 12th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question from Kate Green MP on Gypsy and Traveller sites and plans to tackle racism:

Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston) 27547: To ask the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what progress has been made on (a) making Church land available for Gypsy and Traveller sites and (b) other plans to tackle racism and discrimination as agreed at the General Synod in February 2019.

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Church Commissioners written answer: bats in churches

On 28th February 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered a written question on bats in churches:
Sir Christopher Chope (Christchurch): 19751 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what (a) policy changes and (b) steps the Church of England is taking in relation to the 2019 survey of bats in churches undertaken with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

House of Commons passes Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure

On 25th February 2020 the Delegated Legislation Committee of the House of Commons passed the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure, which then progressed to receive Royal Assent.

Seventh Delegated Legislation Committee: Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): I beg to move,

That the Committee has considered the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure (HC 299).

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Robertson. The Measure was laid before the House on 4 November 2019. To some colleagues, this might seem a slightly unusual format for a Delegated Legislation Committee. I should explain that the Measure has been through the Ecclesiastical Committee, which is composed of Members of both Houses, is cross-party and is chaired by Baroness Butler-Sloss. That Committee went through the Measure in considerable detail on 29 October, and the House of Lords did the same on 30 January—I have the reports of both sets of scrutiny with me today. I therefore hope that we can deal with the Measure reasonably expeditiously. Continue reading “House of Commons passes Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure”

Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life

On 13th February 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered written questions from Jim Shannon MP, on carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life.

Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: carbon emissions, religious freedom, strategic development funding, church planting, green investments, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, the Primates’ Meeting, new technologies, marriage and family life”