Church Commissioners’ Written Answers: Coronavirus, Lichfield and Hereford dioceses

On 18th May 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered two written questions from Mark Pritchard MP:

Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin): 46582 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions he has had with the Diocese of Lichfield on lost revenues resulting from the closure of places of worship during the covid-19 outbreak.

Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin): 46581 To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what discussions he has had with the Diocese of Hereford on lost revenues resulting from the closure of places of worship during the covid-19 outbreak.

rsz_1andrew_profile_2Andrew Selous: The Church Commissioners and National Church Institutions are in discussions with dioceses during this challenging period, including on the evolving financial impact. A series of structured interviews have been held with every diocese, including with the Diocese of Lichfield at the beginning of May [and Diocese of Hereford at the end of April]. Though too early for detailed conclusions, it was clear that the financial challenges will be significant.
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Bishop of Southwark asks about access to cash machines in poorer areas

On 4th February 2020 Lord Naseby asked the Government “what steps they intend to take to ensure free cash machines are available for cash withdrawal for all communities in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:

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Bishop of Birmingham speaks about banking reform

Birminghamsizedebate171219bOn 3rd September 2019 the Bishop of St Albans  led a debate on a motion to ask the Government “what assessment they have made of the implementation of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards and the opportunities for further banking reform”. The Bishop of Birmingham, Rt Revd David Urquhart, also made a contribution:

Lord Bishop of Birmingham: My Lords, I am grateful to my right reverend friend for leading this debate and I welcome the Minister to his new role. I want to focus on the recommendations in the original report—the references in paragraph 138 of the summary, volume 1—which looked at culture change. The response of the banking industry to that challenge came through a report produced by Sir Richard Lambert, which said that if the banks didn’t face up to this, there will be further intervention, regulation and direction. As a result, the UK Banking Standards Board was set up in 2015. I declare my interests in that I am a founder member of that board and also part of the ad hoc Financial Exclusion Committee which has been referred to already.

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Bishop of St Albans leads Lords debate on progress made in banking reform

St Albans 2On 3rd September 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, led a debate in the House of Lords on a motion to ask Government “what assessment they have made of the implementation of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards and the opportunities for further banking reform”. The Bishop of Birmingham also made a contribution, which can be found here. The Bishop’s speech introducing the debate is below, as is the Government response:

Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I add my welcome to the noble Lord, Lord Bethell, in his new role and I look forward to working with him.

I begin by acknowledging that the banks have an important role in our society today. They do many good things—they employ more than 1 million people and pay more than £60 billion in tax annually—but, despite the many good things they do, we are also aware of the history of recent years. We are now 11 years on from the financial crash and six years on from the publication of the report by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, and it is almost three years to the day since I last secured a debate on this topic.

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Church Commissioner Questions, Church Investors Group, Digital Connectivity, Environmental Taxation, Homelessness, the Holy Sepulchre, Church Infrastructure and Financial Education

17.12.07 Carolinespelman2On 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.

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Bishop of Birmingham asks Government to increase support for the financially excluded

birmingham-211016cOn the 18 December 2017 Baroness Tyler of Enfield led a debate on the report of the Select Committee on Financial Exclusion –  Tackling Financial Exclusion: A country that works for everyone? (Session 2016-17, HL Paper 132). The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart was a member of the Committee, and spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Birmingham: My Lords, as we resume the debate on Tackling Financial Exclusion: A Country that Works for Everyone?, there can be no more poignant reminder of the issues raised in the committee’s report and the seriousness with which we need to take its challenge. As the Bishop of Kensington said in the service [for Grenfell Tower survivors and community] just mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Bourne, we can be too wrapped up in our own interests and prosperity, but we might just now turn outwards towards each other—a society known for listening, compassion and love.

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Church Commissioners’ written answer: measures to tackle indebtedness

On 19th January 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Andrew Rosindell MP on measures to tackle indebtedness: 

Andrew Rosindell (Romford): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what work the Church of England is undertaking to tackle indebtedness. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ written answer: measures to tackle indebtedness”