The Bishop of London took part in a debate to mark International Women’s Day on 10th March 2023, speaking about the role of women in the Church of England and in healthcare and nursing:
The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, it is wonderful to be able to participate in this year’s International Women’s Day debate alongside such inspirational women. It is an honour to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay.
I was recently fortunate to have a participant from the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme spend a day with me and the Bishop of Stepney as we visited the Stepney area, which is part of the diocese of London. The House may know that the programme was set up in Jo’s memory and in recognition of her leadership and the empowerment of many women. I commend the programme and its recognition of the need for women leaders to spend their time with other women leaders.
Continue reading “Bishop of London speaks in debate to mark international women’s day”
On 24th January 2023 the Speaker of the House of Commons granted an urgent question to Ben Bradshaw MP, to the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP. A rare event, this was only the second time such an urgent question to the Church Commissioners had been granted in the House of Commons, the first being in November 2012.
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)
(Urgent Question): To ask the Second Church Estates Commissioner if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meeting of Church of England bishops on equal marriage in the Church of England.
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous)
Mr Speaker, as you know, I offered to make a statement to the House yesterday but was advised that a response to an urgent question would be preferable.
Last Friday, the bishops of the Church of England published a pastoral letter and draft resources that will enable same-sex couples to come to a Church of England church to give thanks for their civil marriage or civil partnership, and to have a service in which there would be prayers of dedication, thanksgiving and blessing for the couple. The bishops also apologised for the rejection, exclusion and hostility that LGBTQI+ people have faced in some of our churches. The bishops are united in condemning homophobia, and urged churches to welcome same-sex couples “unreservedly and joyfully”. I am pleased to speak for a Church that has the humility to apologise and admit when it has behaved badly.
Continue reading “MPs put questions to Church Commissioners on same sex marriage and the Church of England”
Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answers to questions from MPs on 13th December 2022:
Mr Ben Bradshaw MP (Lab): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, which (a) body or (b) person asked the Church Commissioners to review the Mission and Pastoral Measure.
Andrew Selous MP (Con): In 2019 the Legislative Reform Committee of the Archbishops’ Council was tasked with considering reviews of primary legislation. In July 2020 the Archbishops’ Council approved a recommendation from the Committee that the Mission and Pastoral Measure be reviewed, and this was endorsed by the House of Bishops at their meeting in July 2020. The Church Commissioners were then asked by the Archbishops’ Council to lead on a review, as they have the governance and management responsibility for the legislation.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answers: Mission and Pastoral Measures, 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.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Answer – Vision and Strategy”
24th May 2021
Rt Hon Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will make a statement on what steps the Church of England is taking to support the diocese of (a) Hereford and (b) Lichfield; and what plans the Church of England has to support dioceses with large rural parishes.
Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire): Diocesan resourcing of mission and ministry is supported by congregational giving, historic investments and other income. Additional support is provided from national funds generated by the investments of the Church Commissioners and distributed by the Archbishops’ Council.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answer: rural parish support”
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:
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.  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”
On 17th November the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, responded to a written question on closure of places of worship for public worship during the second coronavirus lockdown:
Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot, Con):  To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions the Church Commissioners have had with the Government on allowing places of worship to remain open during lockdown if they continue to implement additional covid-secure measures.
Andrew Selous: Following the Government announcement of a second lockdown, churches have been required to close again for public worship, between 5th November and 2nd December. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishop of London and senior Christian and other faith leaders wrote to the Prime Minister about this and their letter can be read here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/Faith%20communities%20letter%20to%20Prime%20MInister%20%28ii%29.pdf. Continue reading “Church Commissioners written answer: public worship during covid-19 lockdown”
On 16th November 2020 the House of Lords heard a Government statement about plans to mark HM the Queen’s platinum jubilee. The Bishop of Salisbury responded:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I speak for all the Lords spiritual in welcoming this Statement about the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It is a great privilege for me to be here in person this week and to pray each day with 30 or so Members before the business of this House commences in a way that is currently not allowed in any of the churches or cathedrals in this country.
Has ever a prayer been so fully answered as that for the Queen?
Grant her in health and wealth long to live … Long to reign over us. God save the Queen. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury welcomes plans for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee”
On 10th September 2020 MPs asked questions of the Church Commissioners, represented by Andrew Selous MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner. A full transcript is below:
The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked—
Covid-19: Mental Health
James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con): What steps the Church of England is taking to support mental health during the covid-19 outbreak. 
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Andrew Selous): This is a timely question from my hon. Friend, on World Suicide Prevention Day. The Church’s healthcare chaplains work in both acute and community mental health services. The diocese of Manchester provides mental health wellbeing youth workers, to provide mental health first aid, and the parish of Goudhurst in Kilndown in Kent provides subsidised mental health counselling in 13 schools. Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: covid-19, mental health, debt advice, youth work, online worship, overseas aid, racism”
On 24th March 2020 the House of Lords debated the emergency legislation from the Government to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate, highlighting issues to do with church closures, funerals, and care of the vulnerable, including the homeless, and those in prison or immigration detention:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, in these days I have been reflecting on the words of the Hebrew psalmist who, at the time of his people’s exile, articulated the question:
“How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
In many ways we are entering into a strange land, and indeed in some ways a land of exile: a land in which we are exiled from many of our normal patterns of living, in which people of faith are not able to attend their places of worship and in which many people find themselves having to live life in entirely new ways.
Continue reading “Coronavirus Bill: Bishop of Rochester responds on church closures and care for vulnerable”
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